More strikes in the new year as train drivers to walk out on 5 January
Britain will need to brace for extra disruption in the new year as train drivers at 15 companies have announced they will strike on 5 January.
Members of the union Aslef will down tools as part of a long-standing dispute over salaries, impacting services at the likes of Avanti West Coast, Govia Thameslink and London North Eastern Railway.
Disruption will be maximised as the walkout will take place on the same week as the RMT strikes.
RMT union members working at 14 train operators will walk out on 3, 4, 6, 7 January after rejecting an eight per cent pay increase.
This will be in addition to last week’s walkouts as well as strikes planned on Network Rail for between 6pm on Christmas Eve and 6am on 27 December.
Aslef’s general secretary Mick Whelan reported that 93 per cent of members voted in favour of industrial action on an 85 per cent turnout.
He said workers have been forced to strike after rail companies refused to offer an increased pay deal.
“They expect train drivers at these companies to take a real-terms pay cut – to work just as hard for considerably less – when inflation is running at north of 14 per cent.”
“The companies need to come to the table with a proper proposal to help our members, their drivers, buy this year what they could buy last year.”
A spokesperson Rail Delivery Group – which negotiates on behalf of train operators – said more strikes could threaten the industry’s long-term sustainability.
“Further strikes – on top of those already announced by the RMT – will disrupt the new year travel plans of millions, taking even more money out of the pockets of railway staff,” they said.
“We want to work with Aslef to end this dispute that is harming passengers, the industry, and their members.”
The DfT was approached for comment.
The announcement comes as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that, while he “deeply regrets” the ongoing industrial action, he will not budge on pay demands, City A.M. reported.