Both sides are out of order here. Although I am anti-strike action, there is no need to ban strikes, one could always sack the work force en-mass if it became necessary. Hopefully such a move would never become necessary Picketing on the other hand should be illegal, Thatcher only did half the job, banning flying pickets, one of very few mistakes during her time in office. You say 'fine or strip them of their franchise'. It's my understanding that they don't have a franchise, Southern is basically a nationalised railway service run by a private management company, who are paid on a time basis by the government. That's why the tax-payer will be picking up the losses caused by the strikes. In other words there is a double-whammy for the poor commuters inconvenienced by this strike, they have to pay for the losses though their taxes as well. However, I have some sympathy for unions here, safety should be first and foremost and one person running a 12 coach train cannot be right. One cannot see the end of train at any stations when standing on the platform in the middle, let alone from the drivers cab. Surely ACAS or whoever is mediating can see that, it's an open and shut case as far as I'm concerned. A strike is not necessary. If the Southern management company can't see that they are not fit to manage and should be replaced. As for redundancies, **** happens, big up and get used to it. With a view on strikes, my boss in Africa sums it up nicely, he says that if people want to stay at home, we can arrange it so they stay at home permanently.