Southern strikes: union votes to accept resolution

Tens of thousands of rail passengers will again face disruption on Tuesday as staff at the State-owned transport company stage a second 24-hour strike as part of a campaign for a pay increase. File

Another working Wednesday, and passengers are enduring yet another rail strike, this one the worst for 20 years.

Many services will not be affected, but others will be cancelled, replaced by buses or busier than normal.

Southern Railway drivers have voted by 4-1 to accept a deal to end their long-running dispute over driver-operated trains, the Aslef union announced.

Many passengers took to Twitter to vent their anger at the industrial action and disruption it was causing to their travel arrangements after many services were axed, while those that did operate encountered lengthy delays.

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, said: "Our members on Southern, after careful consideration, and long and hard negotiations, have voted to accept this resolution to our industrial dispute with the company".

The row over who should open and close the doors on trains has disrupted services sporadically for nearly two years.

McDonald said Labour believed the railways should aspire to the safest possible method of train despatch to ensure the maximum level of passenger service, security and safety.

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"Where once such passengers who required assistance were guaranteed a second member of staff to assist, a new clause in this deal deliberately sets out how, where there is no on-board supervisor, the driver will knowingly have to leave such passengers stranded on trains and stations".

"Similarly, anti-social behavior on trains could increase with the presence of a guard", he added.

Iarnrod Eireann, SIPTU and the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) have all accepted invites from the Labour Court to attend on Thursday for a hearing on the bitter pay wrangle and associated strike action.

The last two deals negotiated by ASLEF's leadership have been rejected by members, but a third deal has been approved by 79.1 per cent in favour, on a turnout of 87.1 per cent.

A Transport Department spokesman said: 'The RMT is attempting to disrupt passengers as part of its political game.

"In fact at Southern Rail, where these changes have already been introduced, there are now more staff on trains".

'The independent rail regulator has said driver-controlled trains, which have been used in this country for more than 30 years, are safe'.

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