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Aslef train drivers announce strikes in December

Man waiting for a train in London Bridge railway station

Train drivers will hold a series of one-day strikes and an overtime ban across England's operating companies at the beginning of December. 

Aslef, the train drivers' union, announced the strikes to start from Saturday, December 2, to Friday, December 8.

Drivers at each company will strike for 24 hours, refusing to work overtime between Friday, December 1, and Saturday, December 9. 

Read More: England’s Rail Strikes Set To Extend For Six Months After Union Vote 

This move creates more disruption for operators relying on rest-day working.

It follows recent signals of a potential breakthrough in the dispute between the RMT union and employers.

employer

A pay agreement is awaiting ratification.

Row with government

The latest wave of strikes strikes appear to have been partly provoked by remarks made by the transport secretary, Mark Harper.

Harper made comments at select committee hearing on Wednesday, which the union described as “disingenuous”. 

He said Aslef must put an offer rejected as “risible” by the union in April to drivers. 

Read More: Scottish Water Workers Start Strikes As Row Over Pay Continues

Aslef argues the offer is no longer on the table and has been rejected in subsequent strike votes.

Aslef's general secretary, Mick Whelan, said the union would secure a significant pay rise for drivers who haven’t got a hike since 2019. 

He said: “It is disappointing that Aslef are targeting the public and hospitality businesses at the beginning of the festive period, when there is a fair and reasonable pay offer for train drivers on the table. 

“Instead of going on strike, Aslef should be following in the footsteps of the other rail unions and giving their members a vote on this fair pay deal.”

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The Rail Delivery Group said the offer is still on the table. 

A spokesperson said: “This wholly unnecessary strike action called by the Aslef leadership will sadly disrupt customers and businesses ahead of the vital festive period, while further damaging the railway.” 

Read More: Environment Agency Workers Halt Strike As Pay Dispute Talks Progress

Train companies and strike dates

  • Saturday, 2 December, at East Midlands and LNER 
  • Sunday, 3 December, at Avanti West Coast, Chiltern, Great Northern Thameslink, and West Midlands 
  • Tuesday, 5 December, at C2C and Greater Anglia 
  • Wednesday, 6 December, at Southeastern, Southern/Gatwick Express, and SouthWestern 
  • Thursday, 7 December, at CrossCountry and GWR 
  • Friday, 8 December, at Northern and TransPennine Express 

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