Train drivers to stage fresh strikes and overtime ban


Train drivers will stage a series of fresh strikes and an overtime ban in their long running dispute over pay and conditions.

Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Members of Aslef will take part in a rolling programme of one-day strikes from January 30 to February 5, as well as banning overtime for nine days from January 29.

The union said it wanted to put pressure on “intransigent” train operating companies as well as the “tone-deaf Tory government” to give train drivers their first pay rise in almost five years.

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Drivers will strike at Southeastern, GTR Southern/Gatwick Express, GTR Great Northern Thameslink, SWR Island Line, and South Western Railway main line and depot drivers on Tuesday 30 January; at Northern Trains and TransPennine Trains on Wednesday 31 January; at C2C, Greater Anglia, and LNER on Friday 2 February; at Avanti West Coast, East Midlands Railway, and West Midlands Trains on Saturday 3 February, and at Chiltern, CrossCountry, and GWR on Monday 5 February.

The strikes could be the first test of new regulations aimed at ensuring a minimum level of service during strikes, set at 40% in the transport sector.

Aslef 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.

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“Many of our members have not had a single penny increase to their pay for half a decade, during which time inflation has soared and, with it, the cost of living.

“Train drivers didn’t even ask for an increase during the Covid-19 pandemic when we worked throughout lockdown as key workers, risking our lives, to move goods around the country and to enable NHS and other workers to get to work.

“The Tory government has now tried its old trick of changing the rules. When they couldn’t win they brought in minimum service levels legislation.

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“But this new law, as we told officials during the consultation period, won’t ease industrial strife. It will just make it worse.

“There is, frankly, no excuse for this nonsense. The Government and train operating companies (TOCs) should come to the table with a realistic offer so we can end this dispute and work together to ensure the future of our railways.”

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