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South Western Rail passengers given compensation package for December strikes

South Western Railway staff to strike for 27 days over train guard dispute

South Western Railway (SWR) has announced it will be offering additional compensation to passengers affected by strikes over Christmas. 

The strikes were held by the National Union of Rail, Martime and Transport workers (RMT) for 27 days during December over a long running dispute with SWR over train guards. 

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said at the time that workers had been left with 'no choice' but to take strike action. 

SWR announced today (Tuesday) customers would be offered compensation 'over and above' the normal delay repay arrangements. 

Monthly and weekly season ticket holders will be awarded up to five days' worth of compensation. Daily ticket holders would need to have travelled at least three days in a seven-day period. Compensation would be available up to a maximum of five days' worth for the whole strike period. 

Mark Hopwood, managing director of SWR, said: "Whilst SWR worked very hard to keep people moving during the strikes, I know that our passengers often still had to cope with delays, cancellations and packed trains and the compensation reflects that.

“This compensation package will provide season ticket holders and daily ticket holders who travelled frequently during the strike with compensation to recognise the disruption they faced.”

Season ticket holders will be contacted directly to arrange compensation. Customers who SWR doesn't hold details for will need to apply for compensation. 

Grant Shapps, secretary of state for transport added: “Passengers across SWR’s extensive network had their December ruined by reckless and unnecessary strike action.

“They have understandably had enough, so we support SWR taking action to ensure people are compensated for the disruption caused to their lives."

The RMT union has been contacted for comment. 

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