London Marathon 2022: Fresh RMT and Aslef train strikes could disrupt race

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Members of the Aslef union will walkout on October 1 and 5, while the RMT union will walk out on October 1.

A fresh series of rail strikes have been announced for next month, with Aslef and RMT unions set to walk out on the same day.

The strikes could affect travel to and from the London Marathon (October 2) as well as the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham (October 2 to 5).

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Aslef, the train drivers’ union, announced that its members would walk out on Saturday October 1 and Wednesday October 5 in the ongoing dispute over pay.

The London Marathon could be impacted by rail strikesThe London Marathon could be impacted by rail strikes
The London Marathon could be impacted by rail strikes

While the RMT union also announced that its members will strike for 24 hours on October 1.

Their announcements come after both unions called off planned action during the 10 days of national mourning period for the late Queen.

RMT members on Network Rail and 14 train operating companies are striking over job security, pay and working conditions.

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In separate disputes, Arriva Rail London members, Hull Trains and bus workers at First Group Southwest will also take to the picket lines on the same day.

The rail companies affected include the London Overground, Chiltern Railways, Greater Anglia, LNER, East Midlands Railway, c2c, Great Western Railway, Southeastern, South Western Railway, Avanti West Coast, London Northwestern Railway and GTR (Thameslink, Southern, Great Northern and Gatwick Express) in the London area.

RMT general secreatary Mick Lynch has warned that more rail strikes are ‘very likely’ (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)RMT general secreatary Mick Lynch has warned that more rail strikes are ‘very likely’ (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
RMT general secreatary Mick Lynch has warned that more rail strikes are ‘very likely’ (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Transport workers are joining a wave of strike action on October 1, sending a clear message to the government and employers that working people will not accept continued attacks on pay and working conditions at a time when big business profits are at an all-time high.

”The Summer of Solidarity we have seen will continue into the Autumn and Winter if employers and the government continue to refuse workers reasonable demands.

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“We want a settlement to these disputes where our members and their families can get a square deal.

“And we will not rest until we get a satisfactory outcome.”

Aslef had planned for strike action on September 15 but was postponed following the announcement of the Queen’s death.

The union said it had successfully negotiated pay deals with nine train companies this year, but remained in dispute with some firms which it claimed hadn’t offered any deal and where drivers hadn’t had a pay increase since 2019.

ASLEF General Secretary Mick WhelanASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan
ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan

Mick Whelan, Aslef general secretary, said: “We would much rather not be in this position.

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“We don’t want to go on strike – withdrawing your labour, although a fundamental human right, is always a last resort for this trade union – but the train companies have been determined to force our hand.

‘They are telling train drivers to take a real terms pay cut.

“With inflation now running at 12.3% – and set, it is said, to go higher – these companies are saying that drivers should be prepared to work just as hard, for just as long, but for considerably less.

‘The companies with whom we are in dispute have not offered us a penny.

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‘It is outrageous that they expect us to put up with a real-terms pay cut for a third year in a row.

‘Train drivers kept Britain moving – key workers and goods around the country – throughout the pandemic and we deserve to be treated better than this.”

A Rail Delivery Group spokesperson, representing train operators, said: "The actions of union leaders have very real consequences: every strike day takes more money out of their members’ pockets.

“We want to see the industry and its people thrive - we are asking the unions’ leadership to do the right thing, call off these damaging strikes and work with us to make that happen.”

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