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Wednesday 11th
posted by Morning Star in Britain

Frankie Cottrell calls on company to negotiate with unions so his parents can get home on time

A NINE-YEAR-OLD has written to Southern Rail pleading with it to end the train strikes because he is tired of his parents coming home late.

Frankie Cottrell penned the letter following months of Southern’s stubbornness against resolving a bitter dispute over unsafe driver-only trains.

The “spontaneous email” was sent at the start of three days of strike action on the service yesterday.

“My mum and dad both work in London. I am tired of them coming home late every night because of the rail strikes.

“They pay a lot of money for their season tickets/Oyster cards and are not getting value for their money.

“Surely there must be a way to solve these problems. At school we are taught to negotiate with each other to sort out our differences and clearly you have not learnt to do this.

“Please could you sort this out as soon as possible so my mum, dad and other commuters can get back to normal life again.”

Virtually no Southern services were running yesterday as members of train drivers’ union Aslef started their three-day walkout.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn gave his full backing to striking drivers on Southern rail and reiterated his call on the government to renationalise the service.

Asked on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme if he would join the picket lines, Mr Corbyn said: “Yes I would because I think Southern Rail has behaved in a terrible manner and the government seems to be more interested in protecting Southern Rail despite its appalling service.

“I would want that franchise brought back into public ownership and the public sector. After all, we provide the rails, we provide the trains and it makes the profits from running them.”

He insisted many commuters affected by the strike back his position. Southern said it ran a handful of trains from Brighton to London early in the morning and planned to operate eight trains in each direction during peak hours between Caterham and the capital.

However the company normally operates more than 2,200 trains a day, carrying 300,000 passengers.

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