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TUC press release - Successful resolution to talks between GTR (Southern Rail) and ASLEF

Press Release   •   Feb 02, 2017 21:50 GMT

Following two weeks of intensive talks, the parties have now reached an agreement about the long-running dispute between ASLEF and GTR Southern. This resolves the current dispute, subject to securing the support of ASLEF members, and no further industrial action is planned.

The negotiations have been jointly chaired by Frances O’Grady, the TUC General Secretary, and Andy Meadows, HR Director of Abellio UK.

Frances and Andy said:

“The negotiators from both sides have worked hard and co-operatively to achieve this breakthrough. We have particularly appreciated the positive leadership shown by Nick Brown and Mick Whelan. This long-running dispute has clearly been extraordinarily difficult for both staff and passengers, and we are glad that the parties have reached agreement on a way forward.”

Frances O’Grady added:

“I welcome the decision of ASLEF to consult its members on the new offer that has now been made by GTR Southern. The TUC is pleased that we were able to play a part in finding a positive way forward."

Mick Whelan, General Secretary of ASLEF, said:

“I am pleased that we have finally been able to reach an agreement with the company which reflects the concerns of train drivers. I believe this deal can deliver a safer and appropriately staffed railway for passengers on Southern rail and I will be recommending it to ASLEF members.”

Nick Brown, GTR’s Chief Operating Officer, said:

“Our aim has always been to reach agreement with the unions on our proposals and we're delighted to have secured a deal today with ASLEF to end their dispute. It's good news for passengers, the regional economy and staff. After the misery and disruption to people's work and family lives, we are pleased we can start to move forward and deliver a better railway for the travelling public.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

- The agreement will be put to ASLEF members in Southern rail in a referendum, with a recommendation to approve. The result of the referendum will be on 16 February 2017.
- The talks were hosted by the TUC and co-chaired by Frances O’Grady (TUC General Secretary) and Andy Meadows (HR Director, Abellio UK). They were between ASLEF and GTR, who operate the Southern rail franchise. They began on 18 January 2017, following a request by ASLEF to the TUC.

- Full text of the statement to be read by Frances O’Grady and Andy Meadows at Congress House


“Following two weeks of intensive talks held at Congress House to resolve the dispute, we are pleased to announce that ASLEF and GTR Southern have reached an agreement.


“For the avoidance of doubt, this means that subject to a referendum of ASLEF members in Southern, the dispute between ASLEF and Southern is over.


“On behalf of myself and Andy Meadows of Abellio, I would like to thank the negotiating teams from both parties to the dispute. They have worked long and hard to achieve this breakthrough.


“In particular, we want to place on record our appreciation for the constructive leadership shown by Nick Brown and Mick Whelan throughout these talks.


“We recognise that this long running dispute has been extraordinarily difficult for everyone, including for passengers and those staff involved.


“We are glad that the parties have negotiated an agreement that not only provides a sound basis on which to resolve their dispute, but also to restore good industrial relations for the future.”

Contacts:

Press Office T: 020 7467 1248 E: media@tuc.org.uk
Alex Rossiter T: 020 7467 1285 M: 07887 572130 E: arossiter@tuc.org.uk
Tim Nichols T: 020 7467 1388 M: 07808 761844 E: tnichols@tuc.org.uk
Michael Pidgeon T: 020 7467 1372 M: 07717 531150 E: mpidgeon@tuc.org.uk