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ASLEF to ballot Southern Rail train drivers over strike

ASLEF, the trade union for train drivers, is to ballot its members who work on Southern Railways for industrial action after last-ditch talks to resolve a dispute failed.

The news comes as members of the RMT union began their latest three-day strike over proposed changes to the role of conductors on trains.

Yesterday, Southern Rail said a £2,000 lump sum is back on the table if the RMT union put the firm's latest offer to a referendum.

"We have genuinely sought to reach a compromise with Southern.

"We have always been prepared to talk to the company, and we have always been of the view that it is, or should be, possible to do a deal – as we did with ScotRail – but it takes two to tango and the company has not been prepared to negotiate. They want to impose, not to discuss. They have dug in their heels and forced us to ballot our members.

"Our trade dispute with the company is that there should be no introduction and/or extension of new driver-only operated routes on Southern without the agreement of ASLEF."

– Mick Whelan, General Secretary, ASLEF


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