Rail strikes will resume in early December – but with a difference. Train drivers belonging to the Aslef union will walk out during the course of the first week of next month.
Rather than an all-out national strike, cancellations will ripple across Britain during the course of the week as drivers at different train operators stop work.
Each day apart from Monday 4 November, a different part of the country is to be targeted to cause maximum disruption.
In addition a nine-day overtime ban will cause extra cancellations from 1 to 9 December inclusive.
Aslef says it is seeking a no-strings increase for “train drivers who have not had an increase in salary for four-and-a-half years”.
An earlier offer, in April, from the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) was contingent on reforms to working arrangements and was rejected by the union leadership without being put to a vote.
The pattern announced by Aslef is:
- Saturday 2 December: East Midlands Railway and LNER.
- Sunday 3 December: Avanti West Coast, Chiltern, Great Northern, Thameslink and West Midlands Trains
- Monday 4 December: no strikes
- Tuesday 5 December: C2C and Greater Anglia
- Wednesday 6 December: Southeastern, Southern/Gatwick Express, South Western Railway
- Thursday 7 December: CrossCountry and GWR
- Friday 8 December: Northern and TransPennine Trains
Mick Whelan, Aslef’s general secretary, said: “We are determined to win this dispute and get a significant pay rise for train drivers who have not had an increase since 2019 while the cost of living, in that time, has soared.”
He accused the transport secretary, Mark Harper, of going “”missing in action during this dispute”.
Mr Whelan said: “Our members have spoken and we know what they think. Every time they vote – and they have voted overwhelmingly – for strike action in pursuit of a proper pay rise it is a clear rejection of the offer that was made in April.
“The RDG’s offer – a land grab for all our terms and conditions – was made in the full knowledge that it couldn’t – and wouldn’t – be accepted.”
Since the national strikes began in the summer of 2022,s train drivers belonging to Aslef have walked out on 14 previous occasions.
The main rail union, the RMT, is balloting on a pay offer that would see members get a no-strings 5 per cent pay offer followed by local negotiations.