Train drivers, embroiled in an 18-month-long dispute over pay, are gearing up for a fresh series of strikes. The Aslef union has unveiled a “rolling programme” of walkouts scheduled between December 2 and December 9, targeting specific train companies each day. Additionally, a refusal to work overtime from December 1 to December 9 is part of the planned industrial action. The affected train companies on each day are as follows:
– Saturday, December 2: East Midlands Railway and LNER
– Sunday, December 3: Avanti West Coast, Chiltern, Great Northern Thameslink, and West Midlands Trains
– Tuesday, December 5: C2C and Greater Anglia
– Wednesday, December 6: Southeastern, Southern/Gatwick Express, SWR main line, SWR depot drivers, and Island Line
– Thursday, December 7: CrossCountry and GWR
– Friday, December 8: Northern and TPT
Services are expected to be canceled on strike days, causing significant disruptions for passengers. Aslef’s general secretary, Mick Whelan, expressed determination to win the dispute, criticizing Transport Secretary Mark Harper for being absent during the conflict. Whelan dismissed the pay offer from the Rail Delivery Group as “risible.” The offer, presented in April, included changes to working practices and a pay deal comprising a 4% wage rise retroactively for 2022 and an additional 4% rise for 2023.
The median salary for train drivers stood at £59,189 per year in 2021. Simultaneously, rail workers in the RMT union are voting on a deal concerning pay, job security, and working conditions. The vote concludes on November 30, a day before Aslef’s new industrial action begins. Over the past 18 months, both unions have engaged in frequent strikes, causing widespread disruption to services across England. Aslef has conducted 14 one-day strikes, often aligning with RMT walkouts.