Strike-hit Southern Rail start recruitment for new drivers

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Govia Thameslink, the owner of severely strike-hit Southern Rail, has announced a new recruitment campaign to hire more train drivers in an effort to reduce ongoing disruption.

The company have said they’re trying to reduce their reliance on rest-day working and overtime; which is currently impacted by an overtime ban from union Aslef.

However, union Aslef have said that Southern have never hired enough drivers to cover their services, with general secretary Mick Whelan saying “[Southern] need to recruit 300 more train drivers just to deliver the service it promised to deliver when it won its franchise.”

A source from the Department for Transport has said that the government will work with Govia Thameslink to help with the recruitment drive – including targeting part time workers. GT say that they intend to maintain a pool of 200 trainee drivers across its franchise.

Following the failure to find a resolution by parties in previous discussions, the RMT (Rail, Maritime and Transport Union; who in this case represent train guards) will start 24hrs of strike action on 23rd January, followed by ASLEF (Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen; who in this case represent train drivers) will strike on the 24th, 25th, and 27th January.

Liftshare remains a recommended form of alternative travel during the ongoing disruption. Book or request a lift now!

Author Lex Barber

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