More Strikes on the Trains Looming

Further disruption possible this Friday and next Monday

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Further disruption on South West Trains appears likely with strikes planned for this Friday (8th September) and again on the following Monday.

Talks have been held this week and South West Trains are waiting to hear a response from ASLEF to proposals made during the meetings. If they are not successful there will be no trains on most routes and at best 1 in 10 trains will be operating. South West Trains are currently advising you not to try and travel if there is a strike.

A spokesperson for ASLEF said, "The dispute is the result of a number of issues, as is often the case with industrial action: to some extent its roots lie in the new arrogance of SWT management. The conflict began with a small, local dispute in Waterloo, where there was a disagreement over the company providing taxis for drivers on early and late duties. This could have been easily settled, but we believe management engineered a dispute."

The company say they are unwilling to accept union demands that driver-managers will not be used to maintain services on strike affected days.

There had been localised strikes about this issue before but the company had avoided any disruption of services by drafting in manager to run the trains. ASLEF says this breaches health and safety regulations.

Keith Norman, the union’s general secretary, said that since he had informed the company of the intention to strike, SWT had only approached the union at national level to make legal threats.

A spokesperson for SWT said, "We wrote to Mr Norman offering a meeting on Friday 18 August on the day ASLEF informed us about the strikes. On Monday 21 August, Mr Norman replied accepting our offer and a subsequent meeting took place on Tuesday 22 August with his District Secretary. Unfortunately, no progress was made in resolving the dispute at the meeting."

South West Trains will be giving refunds on season tickets for any days lost to strikes. No bicycles will be allowed on trains during the industrial action.

September 6, 2006