Southern takes train drivers' strike action to Court of Appeal

Southern has appealed against a High Court decision allowing train drivers' strikes to go ahead next week.

A Southern train
A Southern train

Union ASLEF has joined the RMT union, which represents train conductors, in calling industrial action over rail operator Govia Thameslink Railway’s proposals to introduce driver-only operation on Southern services.

This would see drivers open and close train doors on Southern services.

The first three ASLEF strike dates are on Tuesday December 13, Wednesday December 14, and Friday December 16, while the union has also told its members not to work any overtime from Tuesday (December 6).

If the walkouts go ahead no Southern services are expected to run.

GTR launched a High Court bid to stop the strikes, but this was rejected on Thursday (December 8).

However the rail operator has now lodged an urgent application to the Court of Appeal over Thursday’s decision.

Charles Horton, chief executive of GTR, said: “This industrial action is having a severe and significant impact on our ability to run our train services and causing massive disruption to the 500,000 passengers who travel with us every day.

“We were granted permission yesterday by the judge to make an urgent appeal and we have a duty to our passengers to do all we can to prevent the wholly unjustified industrial action continuing.

“Our passengers have suffered months of travel misery and we call again on the unions to call off their action and work with us to find a resolution to their dispute.”

No date has yet been allocated for the Court of Appeal hearing.

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