Southern Rail

Southern Rail dispute goes on as Aslef members reject proposed deal in referendum

The Southern Rail dispute will continue as union members rejected a deal that would have ended their dispute with the rail operator.

Members of Aslef, the drivers’ union, rejected a deal with Govia Thameslink Railway, the company which operates Southern Rail in a referendum proposed by union bosses.

Members voted by a margin of 54.1% to 45.9% on a turnout of 72.7% to reject a deal struck in recent negotiations brokered by the TUC.

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said: “We understand and support the decision arrived at democratically by our members and will now work to deliver a resolution in line with their expectations.”

The dispute had focussed on the changing role of guards on the trains – under Southern’s proposals drivers would be responsible for opening and closing train doors.

Yesterday the RMT, the union representing rail guards in the dispute, announced a fresh 24 hour walkout on February 22.

South west London MPs blasted the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling’s response to the crisis at the end of last year.

Featured image courtesy of Joshua Brown, with thanks.

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