Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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Home Train Operating Companies ASLEF strike affects Saturday services

ASLEF strike affects Saturday services

The industry felt the impact of a drivers’ strike on Saturday, as staff protested over the lack of a pay rise as the cost of living goes up.

The industrial action affected Greater Anglia, Avanti West Coast, Great Western Railway, Hull Trains, LNER, London Overground, CrossCountry, Southeastern and West Midlands Trains services.

How services were affected

Below is a guide to travelling via train on Saturday created by Rail Delivery Group:

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In response to the upcoming action, on Friday the Rail Delivery Group released a graphic it hoped would illustrate the way strikes have effected the uptake of passenger rail transport. It was titled “Strikes are jeopardising the railway’s recovery”.

The Rail Delivery Group graphic which says that “strikes are jeopardising the railway’s recovery”

Before the action went ahead, Mick Whelan, ASLEF’s general secretary, said: “We don’t want to go on strike – strikes are always a last resort – but the companies, and the government, have, I’m afraid, forced our hand. We don’t want to inconvenience passengers because our friends and families use public transport, too, because we believe in building trust in the railways in Britain, and because we don’t want to lose money by taking industrial action.

“But the companies have said that they cannot – or will not – give our members an increase. They blame the government – a result, they say, of the dodgy deals they did when the franchises were turned into management contracts – while the government says it’s down to the TOCs. So we are caught in a Catch-22 situation where each side blames the other.

“The drivers at these nine companies have not had an increase for three years – since April 2019. That means, with inflation running at 9%, 10%, or even 11%, according to which index you use, and predicted to go even higher, that we are being told to take a real terms pay cut. And that is not acceptable. Strike action is, now, the only option available but we are always open for talks if the companies, or government, want to come to the negotiating table and make a sensible offer. Which, up to now, they have refused to do.”

Steve Montgomery, chair of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “The railway is too important to this country to allow it to decline, but with passenger revenue still 20% below 2019 levels, securing a bright future means we have change and move with the times. Only then can fund the pay rise we want to give our people, while delivering the more reliable Sunday services and improved punctuality our passengers deserve.”

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