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 Transport continue to peddle misinformation and attack those whose goodwill they rely on to run their services. The company has – with no censure from the DfT – kept driver complements artificially low. The company relies on drivers working voluntary overtime to run at least 25% of its services; while we, as a union, strive for full employment to help deliver a first class public service. There would be no requirement for voluntary overtime if Southern recruited staff properly – if the company recruited the right number of drivers to run the services it has promised passengers to deliver.


‘I’m quite sure that if we sought a guarantee of these payments it would not be forthcoming. We are disgusted and will be asking for GTR/Southern to be stripped of the franchise as all stakeholders, employees, the travelling public, and taxpayers we talk to have lost all faith in Southern Fail to deliver.


‘And if any driver is verbally abused, threatened or attacked after the company has deliberately and maliciously sought to inflame the situation by peddling lies then we reserve the right to do whatever is necessary to protect our members – on Southern Rail and nationally.


‘Those free newspapers which promote such a situation should be removed from all railway and Underground stations which, of course, any good employer with a duty of care would support.’


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