Train drivers stage a new strike early in the new year, threatening travel disruption as people return to work after the Christmas break.
Members of the Aslef drivers’ union at 15 train companies will walk out on January 5, after an overwhelming vote for further industrial action in the long-running dispute over wages.
Here are the RMT strike dates:
Network Rail’s Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union members and 14 train operators are to strike on January 3, 4, 6 and 7 – disrupting services for a week.
What companies are affected by the Aslef strikes?
- West Coast Avanti
- Chiltern Railways
- cross country
- East Midlands
- Great Western
- Greater Anglia
- GTR Great Northern Thameslink
- North East London Railway
- Northern trains
- Southern/Gatwick Express
- South Western Railway (depot drivers only)
- SWR Island Line
- Transpenin Express
- West Midlands Trains
Mick Whelan, general secretary of Aslife, said: “We don’t want to go on strike but companies have pushed us to this place.
“They haven’t offered our members at these companies a penny, and these are the people who haven’t been given a raise since April 2019.
“This means that they expect the train drivers at these companies to cut wages in real terms, and work just as hard for much less, when inflation is north of 14%.”
call to action
The train companies said, “Their hands are tied by the government, while the government that does not employ us says that it is up to the companies to negotiate with us.”
Whelan added that they would be “happy to negotiate” and would “never refuse to sit at the table and talk”.
But, he added, “these companies have not given us anything, and this is unacceptable.”
Asif had to ballot the members again because, by law, the mandate is only valid for six months, and she said her members voted overwhelmingly, once again, to go on strike.
Angry and determined
Mr Whelan added: “The determination of our members is very consistent. The 93% ‘yes’ vote – up from the very high number last time – with an average turnout of 85% shows that our members are in on this for the long term. It shows how angry and determined we are.” .
Mr Whelan said the new mandate has now been drawn up “for the next six months”.
“The way to stop this is for companies to make a serious and reasonable offer and for the government not to put spokes in the wheels.”
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industrial strikes across the country, With at least one exit per day before Christmasas employees from various industries seek better salaries.
Asif stressed that strikes are always “the last resort, the uncompromising stance of the railway companies, with the government acting, maliciously, in the shadows, imposing our hand.”
Read more on Sky News:
Rail Strikes: Explaining Your Restitution Rights
The RMT boss says a wage deal is “achievable” between train companies and unions
“Because these drivers, who were men and women who transported key workers and cargo across the country during the pandemic, have not had a pay rise in nearly four years,” she added.
“With inflation running at 14%, businesses and the government are saying they want us to take a real wage cut.”
Businesses have been urged to “sit down to the negotiating table with an appropriate proposal” in order to prevent further strikes.
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