End in sight for Southern Rail strikes

End in sight for Southern Rail strikes

Following two weeks of intensive talks, ASLEF and GTR Southern have reached a provision agreement on the long-running dispute between the two.

The talks have sought to resolve the on-going dispute between train divers and Southern Rail.

Subject to securing the support of ASLEF members, no further industrial action is planned on services.

The negotiations have been jointly chaired by TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady and Andy Meadows, human resources director of Abellio UK.

In a joint statement they said: “The negotiators from both sides have worked hard and co-operatively to achieve this breakthrough.

“This long-running dispute has clearly been extraordinarily difficult for both staff and passengers, and we are glad that the parties have reached agreement on a way forward.”

ASLEF’s around 930 members on Southern Rail will vote in a referendum on whether or not to accept the deal.

Ballot papers will be dispatched tomorrow, with a result expected on February 16th.

O’Grady added: “I welcome the decision of ASLEF to consult its members on the new offer that has now been made by GTR Southern.

“The TUC is pleased that we were able to play a part in finding a positive way forward.”

The dispute centred on working practices at Southern Rail, with ASLEF arguing plans to allow drivers to close the doors of trains was a precursor to job cuts among other staff.

Mick Whelan, General Secretary of ASLEF, said: “I am pleased that we have finally been able to reach an agreement with the company which reflects the concerns of train drivers.

“I believe this deal can deliver a safer and appropriately staffed railway for passengers on Southern rail and I will be recommending it to ASLEF members.”