ASLEF and Southern Rail

15 June 2017

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, tonight responded to a press release put out by Southern Railways. Mick said:

‘ASLEF suspended the imposition of an overtime ban on Southern Railways – due to start on Sunday 4 June – for two weeks to allow time for negotiations to find a resolution of all the outstanding issues with the company to be discussed. For the record, we have only ever talked to the company about driver only operation, not about driver controlled operation. That is just one of many inaccuracies in the press release the company has issued.

‘We have been talking to the company, over the last fortnight, in parallel, but separate, talks about drivers’ terms and conditions; industrial relations; and pay.

‘The company’s failure to engage over DOO is the reason our members will no longer work overtime – which, of course, is entirely voluntary – from Thursday 29 June. By giving the company another fortnight, we had hoped to avoid industrial action because industrial action is always the last resort; we would much rather talk, and negotiate, around a table, than take industrial action.

‘As for pay, that is now eight months behind schedule – on a deal that should have been done back in 2016 – but which the company has refused, until now, to negotiate with us.

‘I can categorically state that the company spokesman is lying when he says ASLEF asked GTR to package up an extension of DCO with pay. We did not. That is a blatant lie and a deliberate and malicious attempt to mislead the passengers this company has been letting down, every day, since it got its franchise.

‘GTR should stop letting passengers – and staff – down and stop telling falsehoods. Because this is no way to run a railway.

‘This dispute was started by Peter Wilkinson at the Department for Transport – something he frankly admitted at a public meeting in Croydon last year when he said “They can’t afford to spend too long on strike and I will push them into that place.” This is a dispute devised by Peter Wilkinson and the DfT who have caused misery and heartache for hundreds of thousands of passengers on Southern Rail. It is now time for Chris Grayling to stand up and sort it out.’

Alistair Watson RIP

29 June 2017

ASLEF very much regrets to hear about the sad and sudden passing of member Alistair Watson.  Commenting on the news ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan said ‘Alistair was a trade unionist to his fingertips and an outstanding Labour councillor for the people of Cardonald in Glasgow for 22 years. Our...

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Update: Southern Rail Overtime ban

28 June 2017

Commenting on the train driver overtime ban which is due to take effect on Southern Rail from tomorrow (June 29th) ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan said ‘the ban reflects the total loss of trust and goodwill between train drivers and the company. Drivers work overtime on an entirely voluntary basis...

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ASLEF ballot: Southern Rail

22 June 2017

Responding to Southern Rail’s comments about the union’s ballot for industrial action ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan said, ‘It is no surprise that the management of Britain’s worst performing train company is disingenuous and deceitful when it comes to industrial relations and the honouring of agreements.’  Mick added, ‘our ballot...

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ASLEF calls for Southern to be stripped of franchise

20 June 2017

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, today hit back at misleading press statements peddled by Southern Railways, and called on the company to be stripped of its franchise for its failure to deliver.   Mick said: ‘It is indefensible that GTR/Southern and the inept Department for...

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Gender pay gap lowest among train drivers

15 June 2017

Train drivers have the smallest wage gap between men and woman of any job in the UK according to new figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The ONS found that the overall gender pay gap in Britain is 18.1% while among train drivers it is 0.7%.  ...

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