Train operator GTR has won its High Court battle with drivers’ union ASLEF over running trains without guards, but faces strike action on its Southern services on the same issue.
On Friday GTR obtained an injunction to prevent drivers’ union ASLEF instructing its members not to drive 12-car Gatwick Express trains without guards.
A new Gatwick Express train
But members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will go on strike for 24-hour tomorrow morning over Southern’s decision to change the role of train conductor, with responsibility for operating train doors, to the broader based, customer-facing role of on-board supervisor.
The RMT has called two further 24-hour strikes next month, from Tuesday 10 to Wednesday 11 May and from Thursday 12 May through to Friday 13 May.
Both Southern and Gatwick Express are part of the GTR franchise.
In a statement on its successful court action against ASLEF, GTR said: ‘We took this action with great reluctance but were left with no alternative by the approach of the ASLEF Union. In respect of the other disputes presently ongoing, we hope this ruling today will influence the trade unions to come back to the negotiating table and avoid going ahead with any unnecessary and damaging strike action on this or any other issue.’
In a separate statement concerning the Southern dispute, GTR said: ‘We would like to consult fully with the RMT union on what we see as a very positive move for our staff and passengers, but unfortunately the union has refused to sit down and talk to us about it, and is now threatening these strikes.’
ASLEF is balloting is members over industrial action in its dispute concerning Gatwick Express. It has previously said its agreement with the company does not allow trains with more than 10 cars to run without guards.