Talks aimed at ending a long-running dispute between workers and bosses at Southern Railway have stalled without any agreement, according to the RMT union.
Earlier on Monday, leaders of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union met bosses of the rail company in an effort to break the deadlock over staffing and driver-only trains.
The union said it spent more than two hours with officials from Southern’s owner Govia Thameslink Railway.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said the union had “entered the talks in good faith”.
He added: “However, it is clear that there is a major blockage to making progress and that is the failure to get all parties around the table at the same time.”
Image: Hundreds of thousands of passengers have been affected by the strikes
Mr Cash suggested that both the RMT and drivers’ union ASLEF meet with the Department for Transport and the company “in round table discussions with everything on that table”.
He added: “Meeting in different rooms at different times simply isn’t working.”
“This dispute can be resolved, we have no doubt about that, and the fresh approach we have outlined today will allow us to kick-start the talks process.”
More than a year of industrial action has caused travel problems for Southern’s 300,000 passengers.
Officials from ASLEF held talks with Southern last week and both unions recently met Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to talk about the unions’ issues with driver-only trains and changes being made to the role of train guards.