THE result of a strike ballot among Southern drivers will be announced today in what could be another blow for the disgraced rail privateer.
Members of drivers’ union Aslef have been voting over a dispute centred on Southern’s plans to introduce driver-only trains which have been deemed unsafe by unions and discriminatory towards passengers with disabilities.
The union’s executive will meet to discuss the outcome of the ballot before deciding the next move.
The row is separate from the long-running dispute between Southern and rail union RMT over the scrapping of safety-critical guards.
Aslef accused the company of wanting to impose changes rather than reach an agreement.
General secretary Mick Whelan said: “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.
“We have genuinely sought to reach a compromise. We have always been prepared to talk to the company and we have always been of the view that it should be possible to do a deal, but it takes two to tango and the company has not been prepared to negotiate.
“They have dug in their heels and forced us to ballot our members.”
Aslef will have to give seven days’ notice of any action.
Members of the RMT have staged a series of strikes on Southern in recent months, with three-day walkouts due to start on December 6, 22 and 31.