New Round of Train Strikes Announced by Unions

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Two rail unions have announced their intention to resume the strikes that were postponed due to the Queen’s funeral

Industrial action is set to take place across the country on two days in October.

ASLEF, which is the union which represents most train drivers, will be striking on Saturday 1 October and Wednesday 5 October and members of the RMT union will be off work on Saturday 1 October. The strikes are likely to have an impact on the London Marathon which is due to take place on Sunday 2 October.

Strikes planned for 15 and 17 September had been called off as a ‘mark of respect’ following the death of the monarch.

Although no formal announcement was made the Train Operating Companies were formally notified of the planned strikes on Friday 16 September. Two weeks’ notice is required before strike action can take place.

The strikes by ASLEF will affect 12 train operators including London Overground and Great Western Railway.

Mick Whelan, ASLEF’s general secretary, said: ‘We would much rather not be in this position. We don’t want to go on strike – withdrawing your labour, although a fundamental human right, is always a last resort for this trade union – but the train companies have been determined to force our hand.

‘They are telling train drivers to take real terms pay cut. With inflation now running at 12.3% – and set, it is said, to go higher – these companies are saying that drivers should be prepared to work just as hard, for just as long, but for considerably less.

‘The companies with whom we are in dispute have not offered us a penny. It is outrageous that they expect us to put up with real terms pay cut for a third year in a row. And that’s why we are going on strike. To persuade the companies to be sensible, to do the right thing, and come and negotiate properly with us. Not to run up and say, “Our hands are tied and the government will not allow us to offer you an increase”.

Based on Glassdoor salary data, the average base pay for a train driver in the UK is £54,001 though drivers working in the south east can be paid more with the average at Great Western £63,410.

RMT members on Network Rail and 14 train operating companies will take strike action on 1 October in a row over job security, pay and working conditions. The union says this will bring the railway network across the country to an expected standstill and that it has been forced into taking action because it had received no further offers from the rail industry to help come to a negotiated settlement.

As well as Network Rail, the following operators will see their services disrupted:

Chiltern Railways
Cross Country Trains
Greater Anglia
East Midlands Railway
Great Western Railway
Northern Trains
South Eastern
South Western
RailwayTranspennine Express
Avanti West Coast
West Midlands Trains
GTR (including Gatwick Express)

The Night Overground on Friday 30 September will run until around 4am on Saturday 1 October, which is an earlier finish than normal

There will be no service on the entire London Overground network from around 4am on Saturday morning.

RMT strike action on national rail services will also impact services on London Overground as well as parts of the District and Bakerloo lines. Services will be disrupted on the District line between Wimbledon and Parson’s Green and between Richmond and Turnham Green, with limited services running between 7:15am and 6.30pm only and minor delays from 6pm expected from Parson’s Green to Upminster

The central section of the Elizabeth line from Paddington to Abbey Wood will have a normal service until 5:45pm when services will be reduced. From around 7:40am to 5:10pm, there will be two trains per hour between Paddington and Reading and four trains per hour between Paddington and Heathrow T2/3, with two of these continuing to T4 and the other two trains per hour continuing to T5

The Piccadilly line will have no service between Acton Town and Heathrow Airport on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 October due to scheduled engineering works. Rail replacement buses will run to Heathrow from both Acton Town and Hammersmith

On Sunday 2 October services will start slightly later on the London Overground, Bakerloo and District lines with a good service expected by late morning

On Wednesday 5 October strike action is taking place by train drivers on London Overground who are part of the ASLEF union meaning that there will be no service on the entire London Overground network

With Network Rail signallers on strike, there is likely to be an impact on some London Underground services on 1 October particularly on the Richmond and Wimbledon branches of the District Line. London Overground drivers who are members of ASLEF will be on strike.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said, “Transport workers are joining a wave of strike action on October 1st, sending a clear message to the government and employers that working people will not accept continued attacks on pay and working conditions at a time when big business profits are at an all-time high.

”The Summer of Solidarity we have seen will continue into the Autumn and Winter if employers and the government continue to refuse workers reasonable demands.

“We want a settlement to these disputes where our members and their families can get a square deal. And we will not rest until we get a satisfactory outcome.”

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September 28, 2022