Latest Rail News

16.02.17

Aslef members reject Southern deal as further strike looms

Aslef drivers have voted to reject a proposed resolution with Southern, therefore failing to put an end to the bitter 10-month dispute between the operator and rail trade unions.

 The union’s referendum result comes a day after RMT’s own negotiations with Southern broke down, triggering another 24-hour strike scheduled for 22 February.

 At the beginning of February, Aslef’s executive reached a truce with Southern’s parent company, Govia Thameslink Railway, a move that sparked outrage from fellow union RMT who described it as a “shocking betrayal.”

 But when the revised deal was put to Aslef’s members, train drivers voted by 54% to reject the truce.

 Mike Whelan, the union’s general secretary, argued the executive team “understand support the decision arrived at democratically”, and will now work to deliver a resolution in line with the expectations of its members.

But commenting on the result, Nick Brown, chief operating officer of Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “Naturally we’re saddened and hugely disappointed, as will be our passengers, with today’s decision by drivers, particularly as the agreement carried the full support and recommendation of the Aslef leadership.

“We now need to understand the issues which led to this outcome and we’ll be seeking to meet with the union as soon as possible to see how we can agree a way forward.”

The rejection of a deal between the two parties will cause even more concern for commuters as the high possibility of both unions taking industrial action will cause major disruption to services.

Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, expressed his concern: “This is a disappointing outcome that will worry hundreds of thousands of passengers.

“At the heart of this dispute are changes that will provide passengers with the better service they need and want. Where safety, jobs and pay are unaffected, the railway must be able to harness new technology and smarter ways of working to deliver the modern rail service the country needs.”

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

Jerry Alderson   17/02/2017 at 17:20

I watched the BBC News at Ten on Thursday night and was annoyed that it did not mention the closeness of the vote - 54% to 46%, only fractionally less close than Brexit. The implication ofthe BBC report was that more industrial action was a near certainty. Given the closeness of the vote I doubt it. I don’t think the drivers want to lose more money to achieve very little. I hope that sanity will prevail and that rather than a kneejerk reaction of reinstating the overtime ban and announcing more strike days that the ASLEF leaders find out why drivers voted no. They ought to find out if there is a common thing that could be changed in the agreement that would give a vote in favour and then negotiate with GTR/Southern on that one element. Or GTR could offer a one-off payment.

H. Trevor Jones   17/02/2017 at 21:53

Can the rail management also discuss/negotiate with their staff on a 1-to-1 basis and find out different staff members' different aspirations re maybe different conditions of service and different rewards? Why should one size fit all? Maybe some very busy trains need 2 conductors whilst a very lightly loaded train might not need any, especially if it can't be afforded to be run if the staff cost can't be kept down.

Lutz   19/02/2017 at 00:27

If GTR can not resolve this, then the Government must act to bring in legislation to remove the right to strike for rail workers.

Mark Hare   20/02/2017 at 10:34

@Lutz - Why should rail workers be denied the right to strike? This is a basic right or workers, whatever industry they are employed in. Furthermore, action short of a strike such as the recent overtime ban has highlighted the fact that Southern do not employ enough drivers and cannot run a full service without drivers working their Rest Days and additional overtime. Or would you force them to work overtime as well?

Lee   21/02/2017 at 10:44

The'.....and will now work to deliver a resolution in line with the expectations of its members' line from Mick Cash is interesting, what about the the expectations of the customers? Nice to see the customers interests are of importance to the RMT.

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Battered stretch of West Coast main line gets £4m repairs after landslide

23/11/2017Battered stretch of West Coast main line gets £4m repairs after landslide

Network Rail have completed £4m worth of work to stabilise embankments after a stretch of line between Watford and King’s Langley suf... more >
Hammond pledges £250m to West Midlands transport in second devo deal

23/11/2017Hammond pledges £250m to West Midlands transport in second devo deal

A new devolution deal has secured £250m of funding for the West Midlands transport infrastructure. The deal between the government and the... more >
NAO: Rail network ‘cannot reliably support’ new Thameslink services

23/11/2017NAO: Rail network ‘cannot reliably support’ new Thameslink services

The current state of the rail network is not fit to support the new Thameslink Programme and will cause future delays and problems. It has b... more >

editor's comment

21/11/2017Keep up, we’re moving on

There has never been a more exciting time to write about rail: technology is improving, ways of working are changing and pan-industry collaboration is at its peak, all in an effort to keep up with unprecedented levels of demand. I am therefore thrilled to present you my first-ever edition as editor of RTM, which I am confident is bursting at the seams with excellent contributions from leaders across the board. One of the special feature... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Modernising journeys in north east England

09/11/2017Modernising journeys in north east England

First Hull Trains is about to embark on the biggest fleet overhaul it has delivered since being set up in 2000. Managing director Will Dunnett te... more >
Ian Prosser: Safety by design

02/11/2017Ian Prosser: Safety by design

Ian Prosser, the ORR’s chief inspector of railways and director of railway safety, outlines to RTM’s Josh Mines the key challenges fa... more >
A complete step change for sleeper travel

26/10/2017A complete step change for sleeper travel

Ahead of the roll-out of new Caledonian Sleeper rolling stock next year, the company’s chairman, Peter Strachan, tells RTM’s Josh Min... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Eurotunnel rebrand: a more ‘Anglo-Saxon’ name?

21/11/2017Eurotunnel rebrand: a more ‘Anglo-Saxon’ name?

The owners of Eurotunnel have decided to change its name to Getlink, a move which the company described as “very Anglo-Saxon.” D... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Boosting workforce safety through design automation

17/11/2017Boosting workforce safety through design automation

David Shipman, innovations engineering manager in IP Signalling at Network Rail, makes the case for safeguarding the industry’s workforce t... more >
Rail risk: reality and perception

17/11/2017Rail risk: reality and perception

George Bearfield, director of system safety and health at the RSSB, looks at risk – reality and perception – and how the industry nee... more >
The new era of station retail

17/11/2017The new era of station retail

Hamish Kiernan, commercial director of retail at Network Rail Property, explains how investment in better retail outlets is transforming the cust... more >
Digital connectivity fit for the 2020s

17/11/2017Digital connectivity fit for the 2020s

Raj Sivalingam, executive director for telecommunications and spectrum at techUK, makes the case for pan-industry collaboration in order to deplo... more >