Southern drivers are set to begin a new overtime ban after talks between rail bosses and the Aslef union broke down last night.
The union, which represents 1,000 drivers, has ordered a continuous and indefinite overtime ban which could affect one in four services from Brighton and Hove from the end of the month.
News of the ban comes a day after the RMT announced it is holding a one day strike on Tuesday, May 30. However, the driver ban is likely to cause far more disruption.
The previous overtime ban, plus industrial action, was suspended in January this year for talks to take place – but two deals struck between the union and Southern have been narrowly voted down by drivers.
Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, said: “We have been talking to Southern to try and resolve the outstanding issues in a way which works for drivers, passengers, and the company.
“Unfortunately, the company has refused to move its position so we have, reluctantly, informed them that our members will refuse to work overtime from the end of this month.”
Nick Brown, Chief Operating Officer at Southern’s parent company Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “After over five months of intense negotiations and two peace deals agreed and recommended by the ASLEF executive, we are dismayed the union leadership is taking this action, which is designed to impact as many of our passengers as possible.
“Driver-controlled operation with on-board supervisors was fully implemented back in January and thanks to this we are running more trains than before and our service has improved for five consecutive months.
“We’re safely running over 80,000 trains a month with drivers controlling the doors across our network – we’re sorry that passengers will suffer as a result of this unnecessary action.
“We have worked our hardest to resolve this dispute with ASLEF. If this action does go ahead we will run as full a timetable as possible. We will be working around the clock to evaluate the impact and develop contingency plans which will be advertised as soon as possible.”