Britain's train drivers' union announces strike action
ASLEF, the train drivers’ trade union, today [Thursday] announced strike action over pay:
[i] Drivers at Greater Anglia will strike between 00:01 and 23:59 Thursday 23 June 2022.
[ii] Drivers at Hull Trains will strike between 00:01 and 23:59 on Sunday 26 June.
[iii] And tram drivers in south London will strike for a fair pay deal from 00:01 on Tuesday 28 June until 23:59 on Wednesday 29 June and from 00:01 on Wednesday 13 July until 23:59 on Thursday 14 July.
Finn Brennan, ASLEF’s organiser on the Underground, said: ‘More than six months after the end of our last pay settlement and with the RPI rate of inflation running at over 11%, there has still been no offer from the company to resolve this dispute. Every day our members are seeing the price of their necessities, from fuel to food go up, while the real value of wages has fallen dramatically. Tram drivers, like other workers in public transport do a difficult and demanding job with round the clock shifts seven days a week. They deserve fair pay and are determined to fight for it.’
He added: ‘ASLEF members on Croydon Tramlink returned an incredible 99.2% Yes vote to strike on a turnout of over 86 %. It is a result that any union would be proud of and demonstrates just how strongly our members feel about managements failure to make an acceptable pay offer. The ball is now in management’s court. They can either make a fair offer or face the prospect of hard hitting and drawn-out strike action. I hope they will choose the sensible option our members are ready and prepared to act if they do not.’
Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, says that figures published this week by the DfT that reveal that passenger numbers on Britain’s railways are nearly back to normal – back to pre-pandemic levels – underlines why there is no need for rail workers to be asked, effectively, to take a pay cut.
Mick said: ‘The latest Department for Transport statistics show that passenger numbers reached the milestone of 90% of pre-covid levels on Thursday 19 May – and went up to 92% over the next three days. That’s great news – not just for the railways, but for Britain.
‘But this blows the argument that “there is no money” right out of the water. There is, now the railway is returning to normal, because passengers are back and services are packed again.
‘Many of our members have not had a pay rise since 2019. We will fight to maintain the pay, terms & conditions, and the pensions of our members. We are not naïve. The train companies are doing very well out of Britain’s railways – with handsome profits, dividends for shareholders, and big salaries for managers – and we are not going to work longer, for less. We want a pay rise, for train drivers, who kept people and goods moving during the pandemic, in line with the cost of living, so that we are not, in real terms, worse off.’
Note to editors:
ASLEF has called ballots for industrial action over pay at Arriva Rail London; Chiltern; Croydon Tramlink; Greater Anglia; Great Western; Hull Trains; LNER; Northern Trains; ScotRail; Southeastern; TransPennine Express; and West Midlands Trains.
We have successfully concluded pay deals with DB Cargo; Eurostar; Freightliner Heavy Haul; Freightliner Intermodal; GB Railfreight; Merseyrail; MTR Elizabeth line; and PRE Metro Operations.
And we also have multi-year deals with other companies, which were previously agreed, already in place.
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