Train strikes scheduled for 27 days in December over a lengthy dispute about guards have been branded ‘damaging’ and unjustified’.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) announced that their workers on South Western Railway (SWR) would be taking industrial action.
South Western Railway Watch, a group representing commuters on SWR has spoken against the strikes.
Campaign co-ordinator Jeremy Varns said: “It appears clear that the union doesn’t feel much goodwill towards rail users, many of whom will now be worried about their travel plans over the festive season.
“It is damaging, and it is unjustified.”
The dispute centres on the role of guards on trains as SWR looks to introduce new technology.
RMT assistant general secretary Steve Hedley said: “South Western Railway are not credible. They have behaved appallingly.
“We had agreed a deal with them about the role of guards two weeks ago but on November 1 they reneged on the deal.
“I am very sorry commuters are inconvenienced but our members will lose a month’s wages too.”
The union told its members to walk out between Monday December 2 and Wednesday December 11 and from Tuesday December 24 to January 1.
The strike will not take place on December 12 for the general election and no trains will be operating on Christmas and Boxing Day as planned.
A South Western Railway spokesperson said: “The deliberate targeting of services up to, and during, the Christmas period is typical of the lack of concern the RMT continue to have for our customers.
“We will do everything we can to keep customers moving during strike action.”
Train services to and from London Waterloo to the likes of Richmond, Clapham Junction, Wimbledon and Twickenham will all be affected.
RMT said it is still open to talks with SWR to resolve the issue.