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A planned 27-day strike on South Western Railway (SWR) is set to cause misery for commuters this December.

The RMT union has ordered a strike that will see members walk out on every day of the month except for the 1st and the 12th. The move by the union, which is striking over the long-running dispute regarding the role of guards on trains, will cause chaos both for commuters and for Christmas travel plans.

Services in and out of London Waterloo, which is one of the UK’s busiest railway stations, will be heavily affected as a result.

The planned strike is also expected to have a knock-on effect on high street retailers and the entertainment industry if it goes ahead, as customers taking day trips to London are more likely to stay away. It will also cause difficulties for passengers on Great Western Railway services between Reading and London Paddington.

The RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash, said: “Our members have been left with no choice but to call a further 27 days of strike action on South Western Railway.”

As long as the company continues to refuse to give assurances on the future operational role of the guard we will remain in dispute.

A spokesperson for SWR said: “The deliberate targeting of services up to, and during, the Christmas period is typical of the lack of concern the RMT continues to have for our customers. We remain committed to finding a solution that will help us build a better railway for everyone. We will do everything we can to keep customers moving during strike action.”

The Institute of Customer Service

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