Train drivers’ union ASLEF have announced another week of strike action, while banning overtime work between Monday 17 and Saturday 22 July.
The announcement coincides with the first day of this week’s six day overtime ban, with rail passengers now hit by chaos on 12 days this month.
The new strike dates from the RMT union are on July 20, 22 and 29, clashing with two men’s Ashes Tests and the Open Championship in Liverpool. Meanwhile, Aslef union will walk out from 3-8 July, by refusing to work overtime.
15 train operators across the country will be affected by the new ban, which marks a significant escalation of the long-running dispute over pay and follows hot on the heels of this week’s disruption.
The 16 train companies affected by the Aslef strike are Avanti West Coast, Chiltern Railways, Cross Country, East Midlands Railway, Greater Anglia, Great Western Railway, GTR Great Northern Thameslink, Island Line, LNER, Northern Trains, Southeastern, Southern/Gatwick Express, South Western Railway main line, TransPennine Express and West Midlands Trains.
Mick Whelan, ASLEF’s general secretary, said: “We want to resolve this dispute. Train drivers don’t want to be inconveniencing the public.”
“That’s why we have given the government and the rail operators plenty of opportunities to come to the table and talk to us but it is clear that they do not want a resolution.”
“Our members – the train drivers who keep the railway running day in, day out, from early in the morning until late at night, all the year round – have shown they are not prepared to accept the government’s attempts to force our industry into managed decline.”
Marking the beginning of this week’s action – which is set to hit the Wimbeldon tennis championships – Whelan said this morning that the dispute could continue for decades, with government nowhere to be found at the negotiating table.