A third union has come out today (3 August) to say their members may strike on the trains in Eastbourne.
As talks between the RMT Union and Govia Thameslink Railway continue at ACAS, the TSSA said earlier that they plan to ballot their members over plans to change how ticket offices are run.
Now, ASLEF has said they will ballot drivers with Southern and Gatwick Express as to whether they should walk out. Their general secretary, Mick Whelan, has said it’s due to ongoing issues in respect of discussions regarding GTR’s proposed new rosters to facilitate the introduction of an emergency timetable remain unresolved. ASLEF say they consider this a breakdown in industrial relations.
In response to this, Govia Thameslink Railway Passenger Service Director Angie Doll said, “Twice ASLEF has tried to block our plans to improve the railway and twice the courts have ruled their attempts unlawful. ASLEF members have been successfully operating this timetable for three weeks to deliver more reliable services for passengers and staff in the face of train crew shortages. To call a strike ballot against this timetable now is a cynical and desperate attempt to heap even more misery on passengers especially as we have met with ASLEF on two occasions and have a further meeting with them next week on this specific issue.
“Passengers should remember that ASLEF and the RMT signed a pact last year to fight any extension of driver-only operation tooth and nail. The news of this ballot comes at the very moment we are trying to find a resolution with the RMT at ACAS and is premature and opportunistic.”