Passengers across the UK face further disruption after train drivers union Aslef and Tube workers union RMT announced yet more industrial action.
Members of Aslef have timed their latest walkouts to disrupt the Conservative Party Conference. The union has so far, called 12 one-day strikes during its 16-month dispute over pay.
The latest strikes will force 16 train operating companies to cancel all services, while a ban on overtime on separate days will seriously disrupt the network.
Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said: “While we regret having to take this action – we don’t want to lose a day’s pay, or disrupt passengers, as they try to travel by train – the government, and the employers, have forced us into this position.
Our members have not, now, had a pay rise for four years – since 2019 – and that’s not right when prices have soared in that time.
“Train drivers, perfectly reasonably, want to be able to buy now what they could buy four years ago.”
London Underground workers, meanwhile, have announced fresh strikes in a dispute over job cuts and working conditions.
The union’s general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Station staff have had enough of having their livelihoods threatened by job losses and attacks on their terms and conditions.
“Station staff have a vital role to play assisting vulnerable passengers access the network safely and ensuring that the Tube is a safe environment for passengers. These job cuts and attacks on conditions are going to lead to more unstaffed stations, temporary closures and rising passenger anger.
“TfL has had its budgets slashed but the savings made by these station staff cuts will be negatable and will lead to shortages that are unacceptable.
“This strike action will lead to the Tube being shutdown and we call on Mayor Sadiq Khan to meet us urgently to discuss this matter.”
When are the train and Tube strikes?
The Aslef union will hold strikes on:
Saturday September 30 – train strike
Wednesday October 4 – train and Tube strike
Friday October 6 – Tube strike
Members will stage an overtime ban across the rail network on:
Friday September 29
From Monday October 2 to Friday October 6
Which rail companies are affected?
The train companies affected are:
Avanti West Coast
East Midlands Railway
GTR Great Northern Thameslink
South Western Railway main line
SWR depot drivers
West Midlands Trains.
Advice for travelling during train strikes
National Rail warns passengers to expect “significant disruption” on strike days. Services are also likely to be disrupted and start later on the day immediately after.
National Rail has recommended that passengers:
Use its Journey Planner. Passengers should check close to the time of each strike date.
Use its Live Trains page for the most up-to-date information about arrivals and departures
Plan ahead and check before you travel. This includes checking your entire journey, especially if you’re travelling on the first and last trains of strike days.
Train station ticket office closures
Nearly all railway station ticket offices are being shut and staff moved on to station platform and concourse duties, according to the Rail Delivery Group (RDG). Ticket office facilities will remain open only at the busiest stations.
Posters are being displayed in stations informing passengers about potential closures. The Government will make the final decision on which offices will be axed following a consultation. It is not known how quickly the first offices will shut, but the closure programme is expected to last for three years.
Why are Aslef striking?
Aslef members are taking industrial action as they push for a pay rise.
The union has criticised the government from failing to meet its negotiating team – general secretary Mick Whelan, assistant general secretary Simon Weller, and executive committee president Dave Calfe.
They last met representatives of the employers, the Rail Delivery Group, under the agreed post-pandemic framework of the Rail Industry Recovery Group, in April.
Mr Whelan added: “Do you remember Where’s Wally? Well, what we want to know is Where’s Harper?
“We last saw the Secretary of State for Transport in December.
“We last saw Huw Merriman, the Rail Minister, in January.
“And we last saw the train companies in April.
“Since then, nothing. Nada. Zilch. Not a letter, not an email, not a text message, not a phone call, not a WhatsApp. Not a word!”
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