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Who is on strike and what is the rail dispute about?

Who is on strike and what is the rail dispute about?

Rail passengers faced fresh travel misery on Friday because of a strike by train drivers.

–  Who is on strike today?

Members of the main drivers’ union, Aslef, and those in the Rail, Maritime and Transport union have walked out.

– What is the dispute about?

It is over pay and conditions.

–  What have train operators offered?

The latest offer is for a 4% pay rise last year and another 4% increase this year.

–  Why has it not been accepted?

Aslef says there are conditions attached to the offer which it claims would “rip up” long-standing agreements.

–  Does this dispute just involve train operators?

Yes, the negotiations are being fronted by the Rail Delivery Group, which represents most train companies.

– How widespread has the disruption been?

Many areas of the country have had no services on Friday and those trains that have run have started later and will finish earlier.

– Are there other disputes in the rail industry?

Yes, the RMT is involved in separate disputes with train operators and Network Rail (NR), which manages the rail infrastructure.

– What has NR offered?

NR made a revised offer last month of a 5% pay rise, backdated to January 1, 2022, and a further 4% this year, with a promise of no compulsory redundancies until January 31, 2025, and a £250 lump sum for those earning £24,000 or less.

Employees would be entitled to a 75% travel discount for themselves and immediate family.

– Has the offer been accepted?

The RMT is consulting with its members through branch and regional meetings before deciding its next move.

Industrial strike
RMT members on the picket line outside New Street station in Birmingham (Jacob King/PA)

– Is the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) involved in the disputes?

TSSA members at NR accepted an offer last year but the union remains in dispute with train operators.

– Are more talks planned?

Yes, further talks are expected to be held in the next few days.

– Is there any hope of the disputes being resolved?

Aslef says its dispute is going backwards, but there is more chance of progress in the other disputes.

– What is the Government involvement in the disputes?

Ministers say they are facilitating talks between the two sides, but unions continue to insist the Government is blocking deals.

– Have any more strikes been called after Friday’s action?

No.

– How long could the strikes continue?

Union leaders say they are “in it for the long haul” and are not prepared to say when there could be a resolution.