Train drivers at 12 firms will strike on 1 and 5 October

Rail companies and unions edged closer towards a deal yesterday with bosses at Network Rail hinting that they had put together a package that met one of the RMT’s key demands to end strike action.

Train drivers at 12 key operating firms will walk out on 1 and 5 October after ASLEF union confirmed members backed a strike today.

Industrial action for two weeks time was confirmed for the first week of October, after being delayed due to the Queen’s death and funeral.

ASLEF, which represents 96 per cent of train drivers in England, Scotland and Wales, gave 14-days’ notice of the action, adding that it made no announcement until today, out of respect for the Queen’s funeral.

“We would much rather not be in this position. We don’t want to go on strike”, Mick Whelan, ASLEF’s general secretary, said. He added, :withdrawing your labour, although a fundamental human right, is always a last resort for this trade union – but the train companies have been determined to force our hand.”

“They are telling train drivers to take a real terms pay cut. With inflation now running at 12.3% – and set, it is said, to go higher – these companies are saying that drivers should be prepared to work just as hard, for just as long, but for considerably less.”

“Our hands are tied and the government will not allow us to offer you an increase”.

ASLEF members at 12 companies  will strike, including Avanti West Coast, London Overground, Southeastern and West Midlands Trains – will strike on 1 and 5 October.