Are there train strikes in October? Dates and services affected by next rail walkouts
Aslef staff to walk out in time for the Conservative Party conference, while RMT confirm London Underground workers will strike amid an ongoing dispute over job cuts and working conditions.
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Train drivers and London Underground workers, part of Aslef and RMT unions, are set to walkout in the latest round of industrial strikes, taking place in September and October. The Aslef union announced the fresh round of strike action to coincide with the Conservative Party conference.
16 train operating companies across England will cancel all their services, while unionised employee's continue to 'work to rule' on separate days following the strike. Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said: “While we regret having to take this action – we don’t want to lose a day’s pay, or disrupt passengers, as they try to travel by train – the government, and the employers, have forced us into this position.
"Our members have not, now, had a pay rise for four years – since 2019 – and that’s not right when prices have soared in that time."
He added: "Train drivers, perfectly reasonably, want to be able to buy now what they could buy four years ago.”
Meanwhile, the RMT Union has confirmed London Underground workers will continue to strike amid an ongoing dispute over job cuts and working conditions. Mick Lynch, General Secretary of RMT said: “Station staff have had enough of having their livelihoods threatened by job losses and attacks on their terms and conditions.
“Station staff have a vital role to play assisting vulnerable passengers access the network safely and ensuring that the Tube is a safe environment for passengers. These job cuts and attacks on conditions are going to lead to more unstaffed stations, temporary closures and rising passenger anger.
“TfL has had its budgets slashed but the savings made by these station staff cuts will be negatable and will lead to shortages that are unacceptable.
“This strike action will lead to the Tube being shutdown and we call on Mayor Sadiq Khan to meet us urgently to discuss this matter.”
When are RMT & Aslef staff striking?
The next Aslef train strikes will take place on Saturday 30 September and Wednesday 4 October, just in time for the Conservative Party Conference which kicks off on Sunday 1 October and concludes on Wednesday 4 October. London Underground workers part of the RMT union will also strike on Wednesday 4 October and on Friday 6 October.
Members of Aslef will also stage an overtime ban across the rail network on Friday 29 September and Monday 2 October - Friday 6 October.
No strikes beyond that have been confirmed but the last RMT ballot on strike action gave the union a mandate until November. Whereas, Aslef have a mandate until almost Christmas.
Aslef has previously said its members were "in it for the long haul" as they hold out for a better deal on pay and conditions. More than 90% of the 12,500 members backed further strikes after ballots at 15 train operating companies.
Whelan said: "Train drivers are sick to the back teeth of their employers and the government failing to negotiate in good faith, and blaming drivers for their inability to manage services and the rail industry effectively.
“Aslef members, the key workers who kept our country moving through the pandemic, are simply asking for a fair deal on pay so that they can afford to keep up with their outgoings in this Government-made cost-of-living crisis.
“We have always said we are prepared to come to the table but the government and the train companies need to understand that this dispute won’t be resolved by trying to bully our members into accepting worse terms and conditions.”
Both unions have accused the Department for Transport (DfT) of interfering in negotiations and forcing the Rail Delivery Group, which represents operators, to include "unacceptable" conditions into new offers.
A DfT spokesperson said: “The government has played its part to try and end this dispute, enabling a generous pay offer that would see train drivers’ already high salaries increase from an average of £60,000.
“Whilst Aslef members have been able to vote on extending the strikes, union leaders have repeatedly denied them a chance to vote on the very fair pay offer that would end these strikes. We urge them to do the right thing and give members a say on that pay offer.”
A spokesperson for the RDG said: “It is not fair nor sustainable to continue relying on record taxpayer subsidies to keep the industry afloat when it is still down 30% of its pre-Covid revenue, as confirmed in the latest passenger usage report.
“Aslef must recognise that the reform of long out-of-date working practices is the only way forward to improve reliability and fund a pay rise.
“Instead of causing further disruption to passengers and businesses, we urge them to put our pay offer, which would have taken average driver salaries to £65,000 for a four-day week before overtime, to its membership so that we can improve services for passengers and secure the long-term future of Britain’s railways.”
Which rail companies are affected by Aslef strikes?
The train companies affected are:
- Avanti West Coast
- Caledonian Sleeper
- Chiltern Railways
- East Midlands Railway
- Gatwick Express
- Greater Anglia
- GTR Great Northern Thameslink
- Heathrow Express
- Island Line
- Northern Trains
- Gatwick Express
- South Western Railway main line
- Stanstead Express
- SWR depot drivers
- TransPennine Express
- West Midlands Trains.