Rail union announces week-long overtime ban during start of summer holidays
A train drivers’ union has announced further industrial action for the end of July.
ASLEF, which represents 96 per cent of train drivers in England, Scotland, and Wales, has also announced that members at 15 train operating companies will refuse to work overtime from Monday 31 July to Saturday 5 August.
The strike action comes as part of the union’s ongoing fight for fair pay and improved working standards for its members.
The union says the ban will “seriously disrupt services as none of the train companies employs enough drivers to deliver the services they have promised passengers, and the government, they will run.”
The disruption will impact the start of the school summer holidays – a key and busy time for travel across the UK.
The withdrawal of non-contractual overtime will start at 00:01 on Monday 31 July and end at 23:59 on Saturday 5 August at: Avanti West Coast; Chiltern Railways; Cross Country; East Midlands Railway; Greater Anglia; Great Western Railway; GTR Great Northern Thameslink; Island Line; LNER; Northern Trains; Southeastern; Southern/Gatwick Express; South Western Railway main line; TransPennine Express; and West Midlands Trains.
It follows three previous week-long bans on working overtime, including from Monday 15 to Saturday 20 May; from Monday 3 to Saturday 8 July; and from Monday 17 to Saturday 22 July, which has led to cancelled trains right across the country.
Mick Whelan, ASLEF’s general secretary, said: ‘We don’t want to take this action.
“We don’t want people to be inconvenienced. But the blame lies with the train companies, and the government which stands behind them, which refuse to sit down and talk to us and have not made a fair and sensible pay offer to train drivers who have not had one for four years – since 2019 – while prices have soared in that time by more than 12%.
‘The proposal they made on Wednesday 26 April – of 4% with a further rise dependent, in a naked land grab, on drivers giving up terms & conditions for which we have fought, and negotiated, for years – was not designed to be accepted.
‘We have not heard a word from the employers since then – not a meeting, not a phone call, not a text message, nor an email – for the last twelve weeks, and we haven’t sat down with the government since Friday 6 January.
“That shows how little the companies and the government care about passengers and staff. They appear content to let this drift on and on.
‘In contrast, we want a resolution. A fair resolution. That’s why we are taking this action, to try to bring things to a head.
“Then I can concentrate on my day job working with others in the industry to rebuild Britain’s railways for passengers, for business, and for this country.” Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com