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Disruption for Southern passengers due to overtime ban

Southern Railway train drivers have started a ban on overtime which will lead to the cancellation of hundreds of services, causing fresh misery for the region's 300,000 passengers.

The action by members of the Aslef union, in a long-running dispute about driver-only operation, will affect a quarter of Southern's trains today and tomorrow.

Southern, which runs more than 2,200 services a day, said it was working to increase the number of trains next week.

The action started ahead of a court bid by the Association of British Commuters (ABC) for a judicial review of the Government's handling of the Southern franchise.

The passengers' group will take its case to the High Court, arguing that a judicial review should be held, following a year of disruption due to industrial action, staff shortages and other problems.

Southern passengers face more chaos on Monday July 10 because of a 24-hour strike by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union.

RMT on ASLEF's decision: It reflects the deep seated concern amongst drivers

Train drivers at Southern have again rejected a deal for a Driver Only Operation.

The RMT has released a statement following ASLEF members' decision.

This ballot was entirely a matter for ASLEF and its members. However, the result reflects the continuing and deep seated concern amongst drivers and the wider workforce over the extension of DOO and the safety impact on passenger services.

Southern Rail cannot jam their heads in the sand any longer. We are in talks with the company tomorrow and we now expect the fundamental issues at the heart of our guards' and drivers' disputes to be taken seriously.

There's an easy solution to this long running industrial dispute and Southern Rail need to join with the unions in reaching an agreement that protects passengers and which recognises the safety critical issues our members have been fighting for over the past year."

– Mick Cash, General Secretary, RMT


Train drivers reject deal in Southern rail strikes row

The train drivers' union ASLEF has tonight rejected a deal aimed at resolving the long-running dispute over driver-only trains on Southern Rail.

It was thought that the majority of members would agree to the deal - but in a shock move - drivers decided by 54 to 46% NOT to accept the recommendation.

It's only the second time in ASLEF's history that drivers have gone against their union's recommendation. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse sends this from East Grinstead station....

ASLEF train drivers reject Southern deal - Rail boss says: 'Naturally we're saddened'

More industrial action to come in the dispute on Southern trains

The head of Govia Thameslink Railway - Southern's parent company, has given his reaction to the decision of ASLEF union members to reject a deal in the ongoing dispute about driver-only trains.

“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.”

– Nick Brown, Chief Operating Officer of Govia Thameslink Railway, Southern’s parent company


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