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ASLEF Announces More Train Driver Walkouts 

ASLEF Announces More Train Driver Walkouts 
17 January 2024
 

A series of strikes towards the end of January and early February has been announced by the train driver’s union ASLEF.

Train drivers who are members of ASLEF will walk out between Tuesday 30 January and Monday 5 February 2024. They will also not work any non-contractual overtime from Monday 29 January until Tuesday 6 February.

The following train companies and days will be affected:

 

  • Tuesday 30 January: Southeastern, GTR Southern/Gatwick Express, GTR Great Northern Thameslink, SWR Island Line, South Western Railway Depot Drivers, South Western Railway mainline drivers
  • Wednesday 31 January: Northern Trains, Transpennine Trains.
  • Friday 2 February: Greater Anglia, C2C, LNER.
  • Saturday 3 February: West Midlands Trains, Avanti West Coast, East Midlands Railway.
  • Monday 5 February: Great Western Railway, CrossCountry, Chiltern.

 

The strike action is a continuation of a pay dispute that has lasted 18 months. In April 2023, ASLEF rejected a four per cent pay rise from the Rail Delivery Group, which represents some of the train companies. No formal talks have happened since.

ASLEF’s General Secretary Mick Whelan said: "We have given the government every opportunity to come to the table but it has now been a year since we had any contact from the Department for Transport. It's clear they do not want to resolve this dispute.

"Many of our members have now not had a single penny increase to their pay in half a decade, during which inflation soared and with it the cost of living. Train drivers didn't even ask for an increase during the COVID-19 pandemic when they worked throughout as key workers, risking their lives to allow NHS and other workers to travel.

"The government has now tried their old trick of changing the rules when they can't win and brought in Minimum Service Levels legislation. But this new law, as we told officials during the consultation period, won't ease industrial strife. It will likely just make it worse. 

"There's no excuse. The government and train operating companies must come to the table with a realistic offer so we can end this dispute and work together to ensure the future of our railways."

The RDG put out a statement which reads: “Nobody wins when strikes impact lives and livelihoods, and they're particularly difficult to justify at a time when taxpayers are continuing to contribute an extra £54 million a week to keep services running post-COVID.

“Despite the railway's huge financial challenge, drivers have been made an offer which would take base salaries to nearly £65,000 for a four-day week before overtime - that is well above the national average and significantly more than many of our passengers that have no option to work from home are paid. Instead of staging more damaging industrial action, we call on the ASLEF leadership to work with us to resolve this dispute and deliver a fair deal which both rewards our people and makes the changes needed to make services more reliable.”

Picture: a photograph of the main concourse at Paddington station. Image Credit: Rail Delivery Group

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 17 January 2024

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