Govia Thameslink Railway today (May 19) issued papers at the High Court to challenge a ballot of ASLEF drivers on Southern and Gatwick Express over the use of 12-car Driver Only Operation (Passenger) working on Gatwick Express services. The result of ASLEF’s ballot is due on May 23.
The company says its grounds for an injunction are that ASLEF has balloted “in a way that breaches the strict rules on balloting and that, because it induced drivers to refuse to drive trains in advance of conducting the ballot, it cannot now lawfully ask them to take industrial action”.
ASLEF says it is “disappointed” that GTR is taking legal action, adding that the union is yet to take any industrial action.
The matter is expected to be considered in the week beginning May 23. GTR has already won an injunction to enable the introduction of 12-car Gatwick Express trains, and says it expects to run half of all weekday services with them by the end of June.
GTR is already in dispute with the RMT union over changes to the role of conductors.
- For much more on this, and the situation at Govia Thameslink Railway, read RAIL 802, published on June 8.