Southern Rail passengers face fresh nightmare as Aslef members vote on strike action in pay row

Southern Rail passengers face more disruption as Aslef members will vote on strike action in pay row

More strikes may take place on Southern Rail

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Southern Rail passengers could face another bout of disruption with train drivers set to vote on strike action.

Aslef, the trade union for drivers, has said the strike would be in relation to pay, according to Sky News.

Members of the union are already starting a ban on overtime on June 29, however this is in relation to the dispute over driver-only trains.

Strikes from the union and the RMT union previously caused major disruption for passengers on the service, meaning trains were cancelled and severely delayed.

If members vote for this new strike, it will begin on July 27, coinciding with school summer holidays.

Southern Rail has claimed it already offered members of the union a pay rise of nearly 24% over four years.

However, the rail service did threaten to take the offer off the table if the overtime ban started.

The offer would reportedly mean a driver's basic salary would be more than £60,000.

A spokesperson for the rail company said: "People will be amazed the Aslef leadership has rejected such a significant pay offer for their members.

"This ballot is a real chance for drivers to end this dispute by showing they want to accept the 23.8% pay offer and work with us to modernise the congested Southern network as updated infrastructure, trains and working practices provide the service passengers need and deserve."

Southern Rail commuters faced misery for much of 2016, with regular strikes on the network over plans for driver-only trains, which would obviate the need for guards.

The strikes brought huge criticism for the relevant unions, Aslef and the RMT (which represents the guards) as well as the Department for Transport, which was accused of trying to bully the unions into an agreement.