Posted 4th April 2017 | 1 Comment

ASLEF seeks new talks: RMT strikes set to go ahead

THREE strikes by RMT members at Merseyrail, Northern and Southern in DOO disputes are set to go ahead on Saturday, although talks have been arranged for today between the union and Southern.

The industrial relations picture remains gloomy after yesterday’s ASLEF referendum result, in which the union’s members on Southern rejected a proposed DOO settlement, recommended by their Executive, for a second time.

Analysis of the result shows that 25 more out of 953 drivers voted this time, taking the turnout from 72.72 per cent to 75.34 per cent, and they may account almost entirely for the stronger vote to accept the deal, which was 346 as against 317 in February. The number of drivers rejecting the settlement barely changed, at 374 in February and 372 now.

General secretary Mick Whelan and his executive must now consider their next step. Mr Whelan said: “We understand and support the decision arrived at in a democratic vote by our drivers and will now seek new talks with the company and work to deliver a resolution to this dispute in line with the expectations of our members.”

Both Southern’s owner Govia Thameslink Railway and the Rail Delivery Group have said they are ‘disappointed’ by the outcome of the second ASLEF referendum.

Andy Bindon of GTR said: “We have shown a willingness and desire to find a solution to their dispute and we will now, once again, sit down with the union, understand the issues which led to this regrettable decision by the drivers and try and find a way forward to resolving it."

Reader Comments:

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  • John Porter, Kettering

    I wonder whether the deal would be rejected again if an extra clause were added, requiring Southern to pay £1 per trip to any driver providing a service without a safety trained second member of staff on board. That would incentivise Southern to minimise the number of such trips and drivers to keep a record.