Drivers’ union ASLEF and the RMT are to stage strikes in May as long-running disputes over pay and conditions continue.
Members at ASLEF are to strike on 12 May, 31 May and 3 June on 16 operators – Avanti West Coast, Chiltern, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Great Western, Greater Anglia, Govia Thameslink Railway, LNER, Northern, Southeastern, South Western Railway depot and Island line drivers, TransPennine Express and West Midlands Trains. The dispute is over pay, with ASLEF highlighting what it calls ‘the failure of management to offer a fair deal on pay.’
RMT members are set to strike on 14 train operators on 13 May – the day of the Eurovision Song Contest final in Liverpool -after it rejected the latest offer from the Rail Delivery Group. Under the offer, the union says a first year payment of 5% would only be implemented if it stopped its industrial mandate. General Secretary Mick Lynch said: ‘The RDG has reneged on its original proposals and torpedoed these negotiations.’
The union is reballoting its members for another six months of strike action: it says that if members vote in favour of this, it will ‘put on’ a further programme of strikes.
n response, Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: ‘Passengers have been forced to endure the RMT’s strike action for almost a year, yet the RMT executive is intent on continuing to force its members to lose even more pay. That’s despite having a best and final offer, similar to the pay offer their Network Rail members recently voted to overwhelmingly accept.
‘By yet again denying their members a chance to have a say, and then striking over the UK’s first Eurovision event in 25 years – hosted for Ukraine - the RMT are simply further snubbing the very passengers they serve.’