London Underground walk-outs will no longer go ahead this week but passengers on the UK’s rail network will still experience disruption as train drivers union Aslef launch another wave of strikes and overtime ban.
Tube workers have called off their strike action, claiming to have won concessions in their dispute over pay and changes to working practices. RMT bosses said the union has managed to save key jobs, prevent detrimental changes to rosters and secure protection of earnings around changes to pay grading.
Meanwhile, members of Aslef will continue with their planned industrial action. The strike dates are timed to disrupt the Conservative Party Conference, and will affect 16 train operating companies. A ban on overtime on non-strike days will further disrupt the network.
The union has so far, called 13 one-day strikes during its 16-month dispute over pay.
Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said: “While we regret having to take this action – we don’t want to lose a day’s pay, or disrupt passengers, as they try to travel by train – the government, and the employers, have forced us into this position.
Our members have not, now, had a pay rise for four years – since 2019 – and that’s not right when prices have soared in that time.
“Train drivers, perfectly reasonably, want to be able to buy now what they could buy four years ago.”
Mick Lynch, general secretary of RMT, the union representing Tube workers, said: “I congratulate all our members who were prepared to take strike action and our negotiations team for securing this victory in our tube dispute.
“Without the unity and industrial power of our members, there is no way we would have been able to make the progress we have.
“We still remain in dispute over outstanding issues around pensions and working agreements and will continue to pursue a negotiated settlement.”
When are the train and Tube strikes?
Strikes will be held on the following dates:
Saturday September 30 – train strike
Wednesday October 4 – train strike will take place, Tube strike cancelled
Friday October 6 – planned Tube strike cancelled
Aslef members will stage an overtime ban across the rail network on:
Friday September 29
From Monday October 2 to Friday October 6
Which rail companies are affected?
The train companies affected are:
Avanti West Coast
East Midlands Railway
GTR Great Northern Thameslink
South Western Railway main line
SWR depot drivers
West Midlands Trains.
Advice for travelling during train strikes
National Rail warns passengers to expect “significant disruption” on strike days. Services are also likely to be disrupted and start later on the day immediately after.
National Rail has recommended that passengers:
Use its Journey Planner. Passengers should check close to the time of each strike date
Use its Live Trains page for the most up-to-date information about arrivals and departures
Plan ahead and check before you travel. This includes checking your entire journey, especially if you’re travelling on the first and last trains of strike days
Train station ticket office closures
Nearly all railway station ticket offices are being shut and staff moved on to station platform and concourse duties, according to the Rail Delivery Group (RDG). Ticket office facilities will remain open only at the busiest stations.
Posters are being displayed in stations informing passengers about potential closures. The Government will make the final decision on which offices will be axed following a consultation. It is not known how quickly the first offices will shut, but the closure programme is expected to last for three years.
Why are Aslef striking?
Aslef members are taking industrial action as they push for a pay rise.
The union has criticised the government from failing to meet its negotiating team – general secretary Mick Whelan, assistant general secretary Simon Weller, and executive committee president Dave Calfe.
They last met representatives of the employers, the Rail Delivery Group, under the agreed post-pandemic framework of the Rail Industry Recovery Group, in April.
Mr Whelan added: “Do you remember Where’s Wally? Well, what we want to know is Where’s Harper?
“We last saw the Secretary of State for Transport in December.
“We last saw Huw Merriman, the Rail Minister, in January.
“And we last saw the train companies in April.
“Since then, nothing. Nada. Zilch. Not a letter, not an email, not a text message, not a phone call, not a WhatsApp. Not a word!”
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