Eastbourne commuters are to get a slight relief from strikes on the railway.
The drivers’ union, ASLEF, have announced this morning (4 January) that their members have halved their strike on the Southern network from six days to three next week.
Drivers will now take action on Tuesday 10 January, Wednesday 11 January and Friday 13 January and the ban on working overtime continues. However, three alternative dates for the cancelled strike action have now been announced and will take place on Tuesday 24 January, Wednesday 25 January and Friday 27 January.
The strike is in objection to the introduction of driver only trains, which would see Southern replace conductors with on board supervisors. ASLEF and the RMT Union both feel this change would compromise passenger safety, something Southern firmly deny.
Mick Whelan, General Secretary said, “We are taking a longer-term view of this trade dispute. The company has not been prepared to move – it is simply going through the motions, turning up at ACAS, as it did yesterday, and telling us that it intends to impose DOO. We remain committed to a negotiated settlement, as was reached with ScotRail, but it is difficult to negotiate with people who are not prepared to be flexible. We still believe a deal can be done but we are, at the moment, a long way from that position. It is time for the company to come up with a genuine offer rather than carry on posturing.”
Responding to the announcement, a Southern spokesperson said, “This is a cynical ploy to minimise the impact on ASLEF’s drivers’ pay packets and maximises misery, disruption and hardship for passengers.
“ASLEF’s move shows pure contempt for the travelling public and it still causes massive disruption over next week.
“These strikes are pointless and they should call the whole thing off and let common sense prevail.”