Train drivers industrial action: Which lines are disrupted during Aslef members’ overtime ban?
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Industrial action begins once again today on the railways. There is no strike action this week, but train drivers are staging a week-long overtime ban in a dispute over pay.
Until Saturday (August 5), members of the Aslef union at 15 firms will refuse overtime, with a further week of overtime refusal next week, from Monday to Saturday (August 7-12).
The union suggests the ban will seriously affect services, and says its members involved in the dispute have not had a pay rise for four years. It says none of the train companies employ enough drivers.
Which train services are affected?
National Rail says it is likely the following train operating companies will be affected and not expecting to be able to run their full timetable:
- Chiltern Railways
- Gatwick Express
- Greater Anglia (including Stansted Express)
- Great Western Railway
- Great Northern
- South Western Railway (including Island Line)
- TransPennine Express
National Rail says the following train operating companies might also be affected. It says they are currently expecting to be able to run their full timetable but might experience short-notice cancellations.
- Avanti West Coast
- East Midlands Railway
- London Northwestern Railway
- West Midlands Railway
The following train companies are not affected, according to National Rail, and are expected to run as normal:
- Caledonian Sleeper
- Grand Central
- Elizabeth line
- Heathrow Express
- Hull Trains
- London Overground
- Transport for Wales.
The overtime ban follows strikes last week by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT).
Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said: “We don’t want to take this action, because we don’t want people to be inconvenienced, but the train companies, and the government which stands behind them, have forced us into this place because they refuse to sit down and talk to us and have not made a fair and sensible pay offer to train drivers who have not had one for four years – since 2019 – while prices have soared in that time by more than 12%.”
Mr Whelan said an offer made in April was for a 4% pay increase, with a further rise dependent on drivers giving up terms and conditions, but he claimed no meetings have been held with employers since.
He explained: “We have not heard a word from the employers since then – we haven’t had a meeting, or a phone call, a text message, nor an email – for the three months, and we haven’t sat down with the government since January 6.
“That shows how little the companies and the government care about passengers and staff. They are happy to let this go on and on. We are determined to get a proper increase for men and women who haven’t had one for four years while inflation has been roaring away.
“Our members, perfectly reasonably, want to be able to buy now what they could buy back in 2019.”
A Department for Transport spokesman said: “The government has met the rail unions, listened to them and facilitated improved offers on pay and reform. The union leaders should put these fair and reasonable offers to their members so this dispute can be resolved.”