Train drivers will strike again over pay
Train drivers at 12 rail companies will strike again as part a long-running dispute over pay, union bosses say.
Up to 9,500 members of the Aslef union will walk out on Saturday 26 November.
The latest industrial action follows four previous 24-hour strikes by drivers, which led to train services being cancelled and delayed.
The union, which wants wages to keep pace with the rising cost of living, said talks with rail firms broke down after no pay offer was made.
“We regret that passengers will be inconvenienced for another day. We don’t want to be taking this action,” said Aslef’s general secretary Mick Whelan.
The UK rail industry has been hit by a wave of strikes in recent months, with different unions representing different job roles staging walk-outs.
The government’s minister for the railways, Huw Merriman said the strikes had “cost the railway about half a billion” so far this year.
Which train companies are affected?
- Avanti West Coast
- Chiltern Railways
- East Midlands Railway
- Great Western Railway
- Greater Anglia
- London North Eastern Railway
- London Overground
- Northern Trains
- Transpennine Express
- West Midlands Trains
Union bosses have said with prices of food and energy rising at their fastest rate for 40 years, companies should be paying their members more. They are also angry about job cuts and changes to working conditions.
Meanwhile, railway bosses have claimed they want to give workers pay rises, but insist changes are needed to “modernise” working practices and save money.
In 2021, the median salary for train and tram drivers was £59,189 per year.
Mr Whelan said that with inflation – the rate at which prices rise – at 10.1%, drivers were getting a pay cut in real terms.
“Train drivers who kept Britain moving through the pandemic are now being expected to work just as hard this year as last year but for less,” he added.
“We want the companies – which are making huge profits – to make a proper pay offer so that our members can keep up with the cost of living.”
The Rail Delivery Group, which represents train companies, said it was “incredibly frustrated” that Aslef’s leadership had decided to take further strike action.
“We regret Aslef’s decision, which will cause real disruption to passengers and hit its members’ pay packets,” a spokesman said.
“Instead of staging more counterproductive strike action which increases the very real financial challenge the industry is facing, we ask them to work with us to secure both a pay deal and the changes needed it for it to thrive in the long-term and improve reliability across the network.”
As well as drivers, RMT union rail workers in roles such as guards and signalling have been on several strikes.
Last Friday the RMT and another union, TSSA, called off three days of strike action in early November as it entered “intensive negotiations” with Network Rail and the train companies.
Published at Thu, 10 Nov 2022 16:13:30 +0000