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Fresh talks due amid Southern Railway conductors impasse

Fresh talks are to be held in a bid to resolve a long-running row over the role of conductors on Southern Railway.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) accepted an invitation from Southern's owners Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) to meet next week.

The development followed a deal between the company and Aslef over driver-only trains.

The RMT remains angry at being left out of the Aslef meeting, which was held more than 11 days under the co-chairmanship of the TUC.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said in a message to union members: "I can confirm that we are aware that talks between GTR and our sister union has concluded and an agreement has been reached subject to their members' approval and endorsement.

"Unfortunately, we have not received the full details of this agreement and are therefore unable to make any further judgment on this matter.

"Southern GTR has agreed to meet this union over the issues at the heart of this dispute and I have written to the company seeking available dates, which will hopefully commence early next week.

"A dditionally, I will be asking the company for a copy of the agreement between Southern GTR and our sister union and asking for information on any additional proposals the company intend to present at our talks."

Mr Cash added: "We have expressed our dismay and dissatisfaction at the TUC's approach in this dispute and made it clear that we object to their exclusion of this union from the talks at the TUC between the company and our sister union."

Aslef members will be balloted on whether to accept the deal, with the result due on February 16.

The unions have held a series of strikes in recent months which crippled Southern's services.

The company has also been hit by staff shortages and other problems.

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