Eastbourne commuters could face more strike action as drivers on Southern are to be balloted next month.
The union ASLEF has taken the decision after last-ditch talks broke down with Southern on Monday (17 October). They’re angry at the proposals to introduce driver-only trains, an issue which has already seen months of disruption as guards with the RMT Union have walked out on strike.
“We have genuinely sought to reach a compromise with Southern,” said general secretary Mick Whelan. “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.”
ASLEF members will be balloted from 4 November, with the papers due back by Friday 18 November.