Our Ref: BR2/0146

8th February 2017

Dear Colleague,


I write further to my letter dated 4th February 2017, in which I informed you of the shocking and historical betrayal of you and your colleagues at the hands of the TUC, ASLE&F and Southern management.

I can confirm that we have been in contact with the company. Once the deal with ASLE&F had been announced we requested a copy of the proposals from the company, who unacceptably did not reply or provide a copy of the document until Monday 6th February, three days later. Over the weekend it was proposed by Southern that talks should take place under the auspices of ACAS and the union should meet with the company on Tuesday or Wednesday this week. However, I was deeply surprised and concerned to be told by ACAS officials that Southern are not available for any talks until Next Monday (13th February). Today, I have now been told that they are unavailable for talks until Tuesday 14th February 2017. Nevertheless, I have informed them that as always we are prepared to meet.

I am appalled at the company’s evasive behaviour and blatant attempts at stalling meaningful talks, particularly, at such an important and sensitive time. It is without doubt that Southern are more concerned with pushing through and ensuring a deal with the drivers is concluded before our union gets the opportunity to get round the table and focus on a deal for you and your colleagues who have been at the centre of this dispute.

It has been publicly declared by certain parties to the deal which was tabled and agreed at the TUC talks that it secures a second safety critical member of staff on “every train” and “…guarantees a second person on Southern Trains”. Therefore, I have asked the company for their confirmation that this is their full interpretation of the same agreement. Additionally, we have requested that our Reps be released to meet with the National Executive Committee and National Officers to discuss the dispute.

I would like to once again thank you and your colleagues for your strength and determination throughout this dispute. I will of course keep you fully advised of any developments as they happen.

Yours sincerely
Mick Cash
General Secretary