The train drivers’ union Aslef’s ban on overtime is currently affecting several lines, and the unions have warned that strikes and industrial action could drag on for five years as negotiations with train companies remain deadlocked .
The current overtime ban continues today Saturday August 5and should be followed by a new ban on From Monday August 7th to Saturday August 12th.
Mick Whelan, general secretary of Aslef, said: “We don’t want to take this step – because we don’t want people to be inconvenienced – but the rail companies and the government that supports them have forced us into this place because that they refuse to sit down and talk to us.
“They haven’t made a fair and reasonable wage offer to train drivers who haven’t had one for four years – since 2019 – when prices have risen more than 12% in that time.”
Could the action therefore continue until September, when people return from summer holidays and children return to school?
Let’s find out.
Will there be rail strikes in September?
At the moment, no railway workers’ strike or industrial action is scheduled for September – but there is still time for the unions to announce it.
Unions are required to give two weeks’ notice to strike, and both the The National Union of Railway, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) and Aslef could do so, after members of both voted to continue the industrial action.
In May, members of the RMT union voted to renew their mandate to continue the industrial action for the next six months, followed by members of Aslef who voted yes to renew their mandate in June.
Aslef’s Mick Whelan has warned the action could go on for years until a settlement is reached. He said there was “no lessening of enthusiasm” from members over strikes.
“We would like a resolution tomorrow, we don’t want to be on strike,” he told Sky News.
“We’re in there if it takes us four years, five years, whatever, to get a resolution on this, we’ll do whatever it takes to get to that resolution.”
However, late July strikes in the London Underground by the RMT and Aslef were called off after “real progress” in negotiations. Aslef described the talks as “a big step forward”.
Which train companies are affected by the ban on overtime?
Railway companies affected by the ban on overtime in Aslef on August 5 and August 7-12, 2023
Train companies should not have a full timetable:
Train companies planning to run their full schedule but with the possibility of cancellations at short notice:
Why are unions going on strike?
The dispute is essentially about wages and conditions.
The Rail Delivery Group said the strikes were ‘totally unnecessary’, adding: ‘Until the management and executive of the union are united in what they want and engage in good faith with the failure to win 30%, the industry continues to struggle post covid, it is difficult to move forward.
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “My negotiating team and I are available 24/7 for talks with rail operating companies and government ministers.
“Unbelievably enough, neither side has made any attempt to arrange meetings or come up with a decent offer that can help us reach a negotiated solution.
“The government continues to hamper businesses and will not allow them to come up with a package that can settle this dispute.”
MORE: Walkouts, overtime bans and grounded planes: Will strikes affect my summer travel plans in 2023?
MORE: Teachers accept 6.5% pay rise and pledge to end strikes
Follow Metro on our social networks, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Share your opinions in the comments below
Get breaking news, wellness stories, analysis and more