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Commuters warned to brace for ‘Tragic Thursday’ with only 10% of trains running

Commuters warned to brace for ‘Tragic Thursday’ with only 10% of trains running

Commuters have been told to brace for what has been dubbed “Tragic Thursday” tomorrow, as only 10 per cent of UK trains are expected to run.

Following two days of strike action from rail workers who are members of the RMT union, tomorrow it’s the turn of train drivers belonging to the Aslef union.

Around 12,500 drivers employed by 15 train operators are expected to walk out, resulting in just one in 10 trains running, reports the Daily Mail.

Expect near or total closedown on Avanti West Coast, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Greater Anglia, Great Northern, Thameslink, LNER, Northern, Southeastern and TransPennine Express.

It will be followed by another 48-hour strike by the RMT from 6-7 January.

“We don’t want to go on strike but the companies have pushed us into this place,” said Mick Whelan, general secretary of Aslef, which represents 96 per cent of the train drivers in Britain.

“They have not offered our members at these companies a penny – and these are people who have not had an increase since April 2019.

“That means they expect train drivers at these companies to take a real-terms pay cut – to work just as hard for considerably less – when inflation is running at north of 14 per cent.”

Mr Whelan added: “The train companies say their hands have been tied by the government. While the government – which does not employ us – says it’s up to the companies to negotiate with us. We are always happy to negotiate – we never refuse to sit down at the table and talk – but these companies have offered us nothing. And that is unacceptable.”

Transport secretary Mark Harper has urged unions to “get off the picket line and back around the negotiating table”.

He told Sky News: “The trade unions decided they wanted to go on strike this week, which is deeply unhelpful, damages the rail industry, damages the interests of the people that work in it.”

However, train drivers could be offered a new deal worth an extra £2,000 a year, reports The Sun.

The package, worth four per cent for two consecutive years, could be presented to Aslef early next week.

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at The Independent Travel…