Train strikes: New date added for October rail walkouts

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Rail unions are preparing a series of train strikes aimed at the Conservative Party conference in October.

Union leaders called off truce with company bosses after the cancellation of protests during a time of national mourning after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will walk off the job on October 1 and 8.

Aslef, which represents train drivers, will go on strike in 12 railway companies on October 1 and 5.

The Transport Staff Association (TSSA) is said to have announced that several hundred members will also be on strike on 1 October.

Railroad executives were also notified that TSSA was planning “non-strike action” — such as a ban on overtime or off-contract work — for Oct. 5, industry sources said.

What days are the train strikes?

RMT will go ahead Saturday, Oct. 1 and Saturday, Oct. 8

Aslef members will leave Saturday, Oct. 1 and Wednesday, Oct. 5

TSSA will strike further Oct. 1 where services are also likely to be disrupted Oct. 5

Which rail carriers will be affected?

RMT members will leave at:

  • Chiltern Railways
  • Cross Country Trains
  • Great England
  • LNER
  • East Midlands Railway
  • c2c
  • Great Western Railway
  • Hull Trains
  • Northern trains
  • Southeast
  • southwestern
  • RailwayTranspennine Express
  • Avanti West Coast
  • West Midlands Trains
  • GTR (including Gatwick Express and Network Rail)

Aslef members in 12 companies will go on strike. These are:

  • Avanti West Coast
  • Chiltern Railways
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Great England
  • Great Western Railway
  • Hull Trains
  • LNER
  • London Overground
  • Northern trains
  • Southeast
  • TransPennine Express
  • West Midlands Trains

Network Rail workers will also strike on October 8.

TSSA has yet to confirm its strike action and the services that will be affected.

Why are workers on strike?

Aslef members are leaving in line just because of salaries.

General secretary Mick Whelan said: “Drivers are being told to take a real pay cut. With inflation now at 12.3 percent – and expected to rise – these companies say drivers should be willing to work just as hard, just as long, but for significantly less.”

With RMT and TSSA, the situation is different. There is a dispute over wages and plans for sweeping reforms of working practices.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Transport workers are joining the strike wave on October 1, sending a clear message to government and employers that workers will not accept further attacks on pay and working conditions at a time when big business profits are at their highest all time levels.

“The Summer of solidarity we have seen it continue into the fall and winter if employers and government continue to deny workers reasonable demands.

“We want a settlement of these disputes where our members and their families can reach the right agreement. And we will not rest until we achieve a satisfactory result.”

Will there be more subway strikes in 2022?

more London Underground Disruption is likely as the pay row between Transport for London (TfL) and the RMT union continues.

The RMT warned on August 31 that further strikes on the Tubes could be imminent, complaining that workers’ wages and pensions were at risk as a result of a funding deal with the Government which was intended to keep TfL running until 2024.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “This deal, negotiated in secret by TfL and government ministers, is likely to result in an attack on our members’ pensions and further pay cuts in the future, along with driverless trains.

“Grant Shapps’ attack on Tube workers would be unacceptable at any time, but in a growing cost of living crisis it is disgraceful and we will resist it with further strikes.

“TfL must stand up to Grant Shapps and demand a deal that serves all Londoners and addresses the real concerns of London’s transport operators who keep the capital running.”

Can I get a refund or travel on another service if my train is cancelled?

According to consumer group Which? the process differs depending on which rail company someone travels with, and customers can “only claim compensation for delay based on an alternative or emergency train timetable or alternative bus services during a rail strike”.

What is the government doing about it?

Talks between union leaders on one side and rail companies and Network Rail have ground to a halt amid national mourning.

The government has already threatened new minimum service requirements, requiring a certain number of trains to run during the strike. However, ministers warned that drafting the new laws could take months.

Eleven unions have launched legal proceedings for a judicial review of the plans.

Grant Shapps, the former transport minister, had earlier condemned the strikes.

“On a salary of almost £60,000 it’s not fair that drivers are hurting those on lower wages by taking more trips,” he wrote on Twitter.

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