The train drivers’ union, ASLEF, has taken industrial action.
ASLEF announced the strike after it says the train companies failed to provide them with a pay offer that keeps pace with the increase in the cost of living.
The action has resulted in picket lines across the UK, from London Paddington to Edinburgh Waverley.
On Friday, Simon Weller, ASLEF’s assistant general secretary, said that taking action was “always the last resort, but it’s the only tool that we have in forcing Grant Shapps and the Department for Transport to the negotiating table so that we can have an increase in our salaries and not another real terms pay cut for the third year in a row.”
The result will be just a fraction of services running as the football season steps up and the Commonwealth Games is well underway.
The BBC has summarised two positions by key transport figures which would otherwise be behind paywalls. Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy said rail will “go the same way as coal” if unions have their way (originally in the Telegraph) and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has written in The Times that he is not going to “cave in” to union demands.
Meanwhile former shadow transport minister Sam Tarry has been pictured joining protesters on the picket lines, saying he was “proud” to join them just days after being sacked by Labour for giving interviews whilst on an RMT picket.
ASLEF General Secretary, Mick Whelan, has disagreed with claims that the unions are dragging out negotiations. On Times Radio (via the Guardian) he said: “We’re not dragging our feet in negotiations, we negotiate with 14 private companies, we do not work for the government or the DfT.”