Aslef train drivers’ union announces new industrial action as strikes loom | Railway industry

Train drivers’ union Aslef announced another week of summer industrial action as its members began a third week-long national overtime ban in England on Monday morning, further disrupting passengers.

Aslef said there would be a new ban on overtime from Monday July 31 to Friday August 5, amid the long-running pay dispute, with unions revealing that nearly three months had passed without discussions with employers. industry bosses – and six months without any contact with the government.

The announcement came as a week of overtime bans began. A number of train operators reduced their timetables because they did not have enough registered drivers to provide a full service. Strikes later in the week by the RMT are expected to cause significant disruption.

Passengers have been urged to check before travelling, with South Western, Chiltern, Greater Anglia and TransPennine Express among operators cutting timetables in advance. Great Western and all Govia Thameslink Railway trains – Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express – are also affected.

Train staff from the RMT union are also set to strike at England-based train operators under contract with the Department for Transport (DfT), with 24-hour shutdowns on Thursday and Saturday this week.

The Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators, said the RMT strikes and ban on overtime in Aslef “would undoubtedly cause disruption, not only affecting the daily journeys of our passengers, but also disrupting projects families during the summer holidays”.

A spokesperson added: “While we are doing everything we can to keep trains running, unfortunately there will be reduced services between Monday July 17 and Saturday July 29, so we advise you check before travelling. “

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said: “We don’t want to take this step. We don’t want people to be inconvenienced. But the fault lies with the rail companies and the government that supports them, who refuse to sit down and talk to us and have not made a fair and reasonable wage offer to the train drivers who have not had one since four years – since 2019 – when prices have climbed more than 12% during this period.

He said the 4% offer made in April was designed not to be accepted, adding: ‘We haven’t heard a word from the employers since then…and we haven’t met the government since Friday 6 January. This shows how little business and government care about passengers and staff.

skip newsletter promotion