GTR, owner of Southern Trains, has urged the RMT to call off their planned 2-day strike (planned for September 7 and 8) and get back round the table to find a solution to their "futile" industrial action.
Southern Passenger Services Director, Alex Foulds, said: "We've had a summer of travel chaos for hundreds of thousands of people and they are now proposing yet more misery and disruption in the week when people go back to work and back to school.
"This futile dispute is not about safety and no-one is losing their jobs or taking a pay cut. The fact is we are creating good jobs – jobs that attracted over 850 enquiries within 24 hours of being advertised, with good terms and conditions. We've made a fair and comprehensive offer and perhaps it's an offer that the RMT should put to their members to consider.
"Mick Cash says it's an urgent priority to talk. We 100% agree and our door remains open to the RMT to sit round the table with us, directly or back at Acas, to find a solution. Customers are expecting and demanding that we both make every conceivable effort to find a way forward. For our part we remain ready, willing and able to do that and we'll clear the diary to try and sort it.
"We have an open mind to all options that lead to the implementation of our proposal to introduce the new on-board roles on our trains and enhance the services we want to provide our customers. Enough is enough. Let's stop the strikes and settle it! We need to get back on track and give customers and staff their normal lives back".