Members of the train drivers’ union, Aslef, will stroll out at 11 train operators on Saturday 26 November. The strike will set off widespread cancellations – affecting Rugby followers heading for the final of the autumn internationals in Cardiff and Twickenham, and probably hundreds of thousands extra potential travellers.
It would be the fifth nationwide strike by prepare drivers, in a 12 months that has additionally seen eight days of nationwide strikes by the RMT union.
Rail passengers in Britain are enduring the longest and most damaging sequence of strikes for the reason that Eighties.
Industrial motion by rail staff has been happening since June.
Members of the RMT union working for Network Rail and 14 prepare operators referred to as a strike for 3 days in early November. Even although the walk-outs had been referred to as off a number of hours earlier than they had been on account of start, hundreds of trains had been cancelled over a spell of every week.
The RMT has performed a poll for a contemporary mandate for future rail stoppages. On a turn-out of 70 per cent, 92 per cent of members voted for extra strikes.
Regionally, a spread of commercial motion from extra time bans to native walk-outs will trigger additional disruption.
What are the strikes about?
There are a number of disputes involving many employers:
- Network Rail – the infrastructure supplier, working the tracks, signalling and a few giant stations
- More than a dozen prepare operators, who’re contracted by the Department for Transport (DfT) to run a specified schedule of companies.
Four unions are concerned:
- RMT, the principle rail union
- Aslef, representing prepare drivers
- Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA), the union for white-collar workers within the transport trade
- Unite, representing some grades in some prepare operators
But key parts are frequent to all of the disputes:
- Pay, which the unions say ought to take note of the present excessive inflation
- Jobs, and specifically the prospect of obligatory redundancies
- Working situations – with the unions decided to extract a premium from any productiveness enhancements
When is the following nationwide strike?
On Saturday 26 November prepare drivers belonging to Aslef will stroll out at 11 rail corporations as a part of a dispute over pay.
Six of them are primarily intercity operators:
- Avanti West Coast
- East Midlands Railway
- Great Western Railway
- TransPennine Express
The remaining 5 are primarily regional operators:
- Greater Anglia
- West Midlands Trains
Will any trains run?
Yes – many, as a result of a number of key operators usually are not concerned. The rail agency that runs extra trains than another, GTR, shouldn’t see disruption; it contains Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink.
South Western Railway, the operator from the UK’s busiest station, London Waterloo, will run usually.
ScotRail and Transport for Wales are unaffected.
Trains that duplicate hyperlinks on strike-hit operators are more likely to be busier than regular. They embody Transport for Wales trains on the Swansea-Cardiff-Newport hall and between Crewe and Manchester.
Will the strike-hit operators run any trains?
Some will. Great Western Railway will run an hourly service between London Paddington and Bristol throughout the principle a part of the day, however trains won’t name at Bath – location for a well-liked Christmas market.
LNER will run a service each two hours between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh, and a single journey every means between London and Leeds.
TransPennine Express will run 4 trains every means between York and Manchester Piccadilly; three every means between Manchester Victoria and Liverpool Lime Street; and two every means between Sheffield and Cleethorpes.
Other operators are more likely to cancel all trains. Avanti West Coast and East Midlands Railway says no companies will run on Saturday.
Southeastern, serving Kent, East Sussex and southeast London from the capital, says: “There will be no Southeastern services running on this date. Please do not attempt to travel by train on this day.”
What do the 2 sides say?
Mick Whelan, basic secretary of Aslef, insists: “We don’t want to be taking this action.
“But while the industry continues to make no offer – due to the dodgy deal they signed with the DfT [Department for Transport] – we have no choice but to take strike action again.
“With inflation now well into double figures, train drivers who kept Britain moving through the pandemic are now being expected to work just as hard this year as last year but for less.
“Most of these drivers have not had an increase in salary since 2019.”
A DfT spokesperson mentioned: “It’s disappointing Aslef has yet again chosen self-defeating strike action when our railway is in urgent need of reform.
“This is a frustrating backwards step. More disruption is not only damaging to the public and Aslef’s own member’s livelihoods but threatens the future of the railway itself.”
A spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group, representing prepare operators, mentioned: “We regret Aslef’s decision, which will cause real disruption to passengers and hit its members’ pay packets.
“Instead of staging more counterproductive strike action which increases the very real financial challenge the industry is facing, we ask them to work with us to secure both a pay deal and the changes needed it for it to thrive in the long-term and improve reliability across the network.”
What different disruption is deliberate?
Aslef has withdrawn all non-contractual extra time at LNER on the East Coast foremost line from Sunday 27 November. The union’s basic secretary accuses the state-run agency of displaying “a complete disregard for the agreements which shape our members’ working lives”.
But Warrick Dent, LNER’s security and operations director, says: “We are confident that our contingency plans will keep disruption to LNER services to a minimum.”
In addition, morale throughout the rail trade is low, with a number of prepare operators reporting higher-than-normal ranges of workers illness.
Avanti West Coast and TransPennine Express are each working considerably decreased schedules till 10 December.
What’s taking place in Scotland?
A protracted and bitter dispute between ScotRail workers and administration could also be over. An extra time ban and deliberate strikes in December are presently suspended whereas RMT members vote on a brand new provide.
It includes a 5 per cent enhance in primary pay and different measures that can carry the typical pay rise to round 8 per cent.
I’ve a ticket booked for a strike day. What are my choices?
Passengers with advance, off-peak or anytime tickets affected by the strikes can typically use their ticket for journey on days both facet of the strike days.
Alternatively they’ll search a refund.
But be cautious about spending on occasions or motels that can require you to journey by prepare. While you’ll get your a refund on rail tickets when trains are cancelled, “consequential losses” won’t be lined. So non-refundable spending can be misplaced in case you can’t make the journey.
Are future strikes seemingly – and when will we hear about them?
The foremost union says: “The average RMT union rail worker earns £31k. Our rail workers haven’t seen a pay rise in three years.
“The union will continue its industrial campaign until we reach a negotiated settlement on job security, pay and working condition.”
Unions should give 14 days discover of a strike, and normally announce them near this deadline. When a sequence of strikes is known as, as on 5-7-9 November, they’re introduced in a single go.
Why isn’t there a steady strike of the sort we now have seen prior to now?
Rail unions can affect nearly an entire week by stopping work for 3 days – inflicting most disruption for minimal lack of wages.
Are any components of the UK unaffected by these rail strikes?
Yes, thus far railways in Northern Ireland and the Isle of Wight have averted all industrial motion.
Where will this all finish?
It may take months. Rail workers inform me they really feel undervalued and that stopping work is the one strategy to obtain a good settlement.
But ticket income for the railway has slumped since Covid, and the employers say they should stability the books – with pay rises contingent on modernising and reducing prices.
Meanwhile passengers are caught in the midst of an apparently intractable dispute, going through one other day of wrecked journey plans, whereas the taxpayer picks up the invoice for the monetary injury the strike will trigger.
At a time when the railway desperately wants to draw new passengers, confidence in prepare journey is at an all-time low.
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