Train strikes 2023: Rail drivers announce two-day walkout over pay dispute - strike dates

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Aslef said train drivers at 16 companies will walk out for two days in the latest series of strike action over a pay dispute. 

Rail passengers are set to face disruptions yet again as train drivers have announced a fresh series of strikes as part of a long-running dispute with their employers over pay. The Aslef union, which represents workers at 16 train companies, said its members would walk out on September 30 and October 4.

The industrial action coincides with the Conservative Party conference, which will be held in Manchester from 1 to 4 October. In addition to the strike days, an overtime ban for drivers would also take place on September 26 and for five days from 2 to October 2, with services expected to be cancelled and disrupted. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Both the train drivers' union Aslef and the RMT, which represents other rail employees, have been at odds with train companies over pay and working conditions for the past 18 months, resulting in regular strikes.

In response to the announcement, Transport Secretary Mark Harper described the strike action as “cynical” and “politically motivated”.

The latest proposals put up by train operators in the spring were rejected, halting progress in their dispute with union bosses. The proposal includes a series of changes to working practices that would allow for 4% pay increases one year and 4% the following.

Mick Whelan, general secretary, said while the union regretted striking again, "the government, and the employers, have forced us into this position". He said the union's members had not had a pay rise since 2019 which was "not right when prices have soared in that time".

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He told the BBC: "Train drivers, perfectly reasonably, want to be able to buy now what they could buy four years ago.” In 2021, the median salary for train drivers was £59,189 per year.

Mr Whelan compared Transport Secretary Mark Harper to "Where's Wally?", claiming he had not made contact with the union since December last year. He said: "Where's Mark Harper? He holds the purse strings. The train companies have told us. They say they cannot act without his say-so."

Aslef said train drivers at 16 companies will walk out for two days in the latest series of strike action over a pay dispute. (Getty Images)Aslef said train drivers at 16 companies will walk out for two days in the latest series of strike action over a pay dispute. (Getty Images)
Aslef said train drivers at 16 companies will walk out for two days in the latest series of strike action over a pay dispute. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Mr Harper said the striking train drivers were "paid an average of £60k for a 35-hour, 4 day week". He added: "There's an offer on the table to take that up to £65k - and still they strike, putting their own jobs at risk.”

Train companies affected in latest strikes

  • Avanti West Coast

  • Chiltern Railways

  • c2c

  • CrossCountry

  • East Midlands Railway

  • Greater Anglia

  • GTR Great Northern Thameslink

  • Great Western Railway

  • Island Line

  • LNER

  • Northern Trains

  • Southeastern

  • Southern/Gatwick Express

  • South Western Railway

  • TransPennine Express

  • West Midlands Trains.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.