ASLEF: The train drivers' union announces another week-long overtime ban

ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has today [Monday] announced another week-long overtime ban in our long-running dispute with 15 train companies in England which have not given their train drivers – our members – a pay rise since 2019. Drivers will refuse to work overtime from Monday 7 to Saturday 12 August.
The ban which 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. That’s why they are dependent on rest day working, as it is called in the railway industry, which of course is voluntary, and, by agreement, and is a system in place properly to be used for the purposes of training, rather than plugging holes in their rosters.
The withdrawal of non-contractual overtime will start at 00:01 on Monday 7 August and end at 23:59 on Saturday 12 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 four previous week-long bans on working overtime [from Monday 15 to Saturday 20 May; from Monday 3 to Saturday 8 July; from Monday 17 to Saturday 22 July; and from Monday 31 July to Saturday 5 August] which seriously disrupted services as companies cancelled trains right across the country.
Mick Whelan, ASLEF’s general secretary, said: ‘We don’t want to take this action – because we don’t want people to be inconvenienced – but the train companies, and the government which stands behind them, have forced us into this place because they 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 rejected.
‘We have not heard a word from the employers since then – we haven’t had a meeting, or a phone call, a text message, nor an email – for the three months, 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 are happy to let this go on and on.
‘But we are determined to get a proper increase – a fair pay rise – for men and women who haven’t had one for four years while inflation has been roaring away. Our members, perfectly reasonably, want to be able to buy now what they could buy back in 2019.’
Note to journalists:
This action short of a strike follows another round of decisive ballots of ASLEF members. There was a huge turnout at all the companies, and an overwhelming mandate for both more strike action and for action short of a strike in our ongoing national dispute over pay.
Our negotiating team – general secretary Mick Whelan, assistant general secretary Simon Weller, and executive committee president Dave Calfe – met representatives of the employers, under the framework of the Rail Industry Recovery Group, on Tuesday 7 February; Thursday 16 February; Tuesday 21 February; Thursday 2 March; Tuesday 21 March; Tuesday 4 April; Thursday 13 April; and Wednesday 26 April to try to resolve this dispute.
ASLEF has also called 11 one-day strikes during this dispute. Our members withdrew their labour on Saturday 30 July 2022; Saturday 13 August; Saturday 1 October; Wednesday 5 October; Saturday 26 November; Thursday 5 January 2023; Wednesday 1 February; Friday 3 February; Friday 12 May; Wednesday 31 May; and Saturday 3 June.

For further information please contact:

Keith Richmond
Media & Communications
77 St John Street

Tel: 020 7324 2407
Mob: 07977 498794