Southern drivers reject sell-out: back to the picket lines!

The votes are in, and Aslef drivers on Southern have delivered a resounding "no thanks" to their leaders' sell-out deal, blowing the dispute against Driver Only Operation wide open again.

The scores on the doors were 54.1% against the deal and 45.9% for it, on a high turnout of 72.7%.

The big question now is: "what next?" The leaders who carved up this shoddy deal will surely be hoping to merely use the rejection to leverage further negotiations, tweak the settlement somewhat, and put a new deal out to referendum without taking any further action.

That cannot be allowed to happen. It's too late for Aslef to officially join in with RMT's planned strike on 22 February (the union would have to give Southern notice today), but even if this window is missed, Aslef should coordinate with RMT to name more joint strikes as soon as possible.

The only way Southern can be forced into making an acceptable offer is through further, sustained strikes.

That's bound to provoke some frustration from passengers, but our unions can work with commuter groups to mobilise and direct passenger anger where it belongs: at the bosses.

We salute the Aslef rank-and-file for rejecting this deal: now let's get back on the picket lines!

Trade Unions: