Train drivers announce wave of December strikes

16 November 2023 by
Train drivers announce wave of December strikes

Train drivers are set to stage a fresh wave of strikes next month as part of an ongoing dispute over pay.

The ASLEF union has announced a rolling programme of one-day strikes and a nine-day overtime ban in a bid to build pressure on the government and 16 train companies.

Train drivers will walk out at EMR and LNER on Saturday 2 December; at Avanti West Coast, Chiltern, Great Northern Thameslink, and WMT on Sunday 3 December; at C2C and Greater Anglia on Tuesday 5 December; at Southeastern, Southern/Gatwick Express, SWR main line, SWR depot drivers, and Island Line on Wednesday 6 December; at CrossCountry and GWR on Thursday 7 December; and at Northern and TPT on Friday 8 December.

All ASLEF members will also refuse to work any overtime from Friday 1 to Saturday 9 December.

"We are determined to win this dispute and get a significant pay rise for train drivers who have not had an increase since 2019 while the cost of living, in that time, has soared," said Mick Whelan, ASLEF's general secretary.

ASLEF has held 14 one-day strikes during the 18-month dispute after it first balloted members in June 2022.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "These strikes will hit hospitality businesses at the start of the critical festive period and will devastate trading during one of the busiest weeks of the year, costing the sector up to £800m.

"The ongoing rail dispute has already cost the sector £3.5b over the past year and a half and continues to disrupt businesses, prevent staff from working and interrupt families' Christmas plans.

"Hospitality businesses rely on revenue made during the busy festive period to see them through the fallow months of January to March, so it's essential strikes during December are avoided."

Last week, the RMT union – which represents rail workers including ticket officers and cleaners - extended its strike mandate on the London Underground for a further six months.

However, it said it had reached a possible breakthrough with mainline rail operators that could see strikes paused through Christmas and into spring as negotiations continue.

Image: AlanMorris / Shutterstock

TagsStrike and Strikes
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