BREAKING NEWS: UK train drivers vote to strike as ‘last resort’ over pay increase battle

UK train drivers vote to strike as 'last resort' over pay increase battle. Image: Lachlan1/Shutterstock.com

Train drivers in the UK have voted “overwhelmingly” to being strike action in a row over pay.

The train drivers union Aslef has revealed that train drivers across the UK have voted to strike after a ballot was held, the union announced on Monday, July 11.

Train drivers in the UK “have not had a pay rise since 2019” said the general secretary of Aslef, Mick Whelan.

The ballot was held amongst Aslef union members who work at nine train companies across the UK.

In a separate ballot, several hundred members of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association who work at Southeastern also voted for strike action.

Chiltern, GWR, LNER, London Overground, Northern, Southeastern, TransPennine and West Midlands are the nine companies who saw employees vote to strike in the Aslef union ballot, with Whelan insisting strikes “are always the last resort.”

“We want an increase in line with the cost of living – we want to be able to buy, in 2022, what we could buy in 2021,” he said.

Whelan said there was still time for union members and officials to meet and come to an agreement over pay to avoid the strikes taking place.

“We’re happy to talk to anyone to do a deal and make sure Britain’s railways aren’t disrupted,” he said.

Conservative MP Grant Shapps, who has announced a big to takeover from Boris Johnson as both leader of the party and Prime Minister, wrote on Twitter that “it isn’t fair for train drivers to hurt those on lower wages with more walkouts.”

Dates of when the strikes are to take place have not yet been announced, although the union must give 14 days notice of disruption before it takes place.

A spokesman for Department of Transport asked for the union to reconsider the strikes.

“Is it very disappointing that, rather than commit to serious dialogue with the industry, Aslef are first seeking to cause further misery to passengers by joining others in disrupting the rail network,” a spokesperson said.

The sentiment was echoed by a spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group.

“Instead of causing further disruption to passengers and businesses, we urge the Aslef leadership to continue talks,” the spokesperson said.

The work stoppage would be the second mass-walkout by train drivers in 2022 after 40,000 workers went on strike in June.

Ahead of that work stoppage, warnings that UK could be facing “the biggest rail strike in modern history” were given by officials.

In June the UK government revealed plans to invest £15 million on refurbishing and reopening disused rail lines and stations to combat disturbances caused by strike action. 


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Written by

Tom Hurley

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