Southern train drivers who planned a six-day strike next week have cut it to three days.
Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, announced this morning that the union will be striking for three days next week and for a further three days at the end of this month.
Drivers will now take strike action on Tuesday 10 January; Wednesday 11 January; and Friday 13 January. And on Tuesday 24 January; Wednesday 25 January and Friday 27 January.
The overtime ban continues.
Mr Whelan 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.”
Southern, operators of the Uckfield Line, 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.”
No Southern trains will run on strike days. Thameslink and Gatwick Express are unaffected but expect services to be busy.
Southern is providing a bus service from Uckfield to Tunbridge Wells, via Crowborough, to connect with Southeastern services. The company has warned capacity is limited and a queuing system may be in place.