Strikes hammer the UK as talks yield little progress

Striking workers - Image Mathew Troake /

The UK is being hammered by public sector and transport strikes with experts saying that months of talks have yielded little progress.

Friday, February 3 brings more disruption for rail passengers after the driver´s union Aslef rejected an eight per cent pay rise that would see their salaries rise to almost £65,000 a year.

Aslef has told Sky News that the talks are going backwards with little progress with Simon Weller saying: “I don’t know whether to point the finger of blame at the ineptitude of the Department for Transport (DfT) or the Rail Delivery Group.”

He added that: “We would struggle to recommend a deal of a four per cent pay rise for last year and 4four per cent this year if there were no conditions attached, but we are being asked to give up collective bargaining and effectively agree to a no-strike deal.

“Obviously, it was going to be rejected – it was designed to fail.”

The union man said that the longer the strike goes on the more attitudes harden, blaming the DfT and train operators.

The strike is the first of a series by different public worker groups including:

  • Nurses – February 6 and 7
  • Ambulance staff – February 6 and 10
  • Physiotherapists – February 9
  • Teachers – February 14 and 28
  • University staff – February 9, 21, 22, 23 and 27
  • Royal Mail – February 16

Today´s rail strike is the only one scheduled for this month, but with no progress, it is likely more dates will be announced soon.

A spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group said: “We had hoped the Aslef leadership would engage constructively to move talks forward, rather than staging more unnecessary strikes. We can only apologise for the disruption.

“To minimise the impact of the Aslef action, we advise passengers to check before they travel, allow extra time and find out when their first and last train will depart.”

There has been little willingness from the government to agree to demands as strikes hammer the UK with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak undertaking a charm offensive in a bid to garner public support for the government´s position.

For now, there is little sign that there will be any reduction in strike action with many suggesting that the opposite is more likely.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at