Drivers vote for strikes on eight TOCS

Drivers in ASLEF at eight train operators have voted for strikes in a dispute over pay, with three more ballots due to close on 27 July. 

However, drivers at ScotRail have voted to accept a pay offer of 5% and a revenue share premium. The decision follows the union’s recommendation that members accept the offer: ScotRail will now hold talks with ASLEF to resume its full timetable, which has been heavily disrupted by drivers not working overtime and on rest days.

No strike days have been announced for the latest ballots, and ASLEF describes such action as a ‘last resort’. Members have voted to strike on Arriva Rail London, Chiltern, Great Western Railway, London North Eastern Railway, Northern, Southeastern, TransPennine Express and West Midlands Trains (see below for details). Ballots at Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry and Direct Rail Services are still open. 

ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan says many members have not had a pay rise since 2019 and that they have had a real terms pay cut over the last three years. He said drivers ‘do not think they are special’, adding: ‘We’re happy to talk to anyone to do a deal and make sure Britain’s railways aren’t disrupted. The government is restricting what the operators can offer, but then refusing to get involved in negotiation. They seem to have no interest in finding a resolution.’

Pay deals this year have been concluded with DB Cargo, Eurostar, Freightliner Heavy Haul and Intermodal, GB Railfreight, Merseyrail, MTR Elizabeth line and PRE Metro Operations.

  • A second ballot by the RMT of Govia Thameslink Railway staff resulted in 80% voting in favour of strikes on a turnout of 57.5%, meeting the legal threshold for action. 

Votes in favour of strikes

Arriva Rail London
Yes: 637 [98.9%]
No: 7 [1.1%]
Turnout: 92.5%
Yes: 217 [92.3%]
No: 18 [7.7%]
Turnout: 86.4%
Yes: 1,049 [86.1%]
No: 170 [13.9%]
Turnout: 86.3%
Yes: 323 [88.5%]
No: 42 [11.5%]
Turnout: 89.0%
Yes: 1,562 [95.2%]
No: 78 [4.8%]
Turnout: 88.5%
Yes: 741 [91.6%]
No: 68  [8.4%]
Turnout: 86.2 %
TransPennine Express
Yes: 426 [94.2%]
No:  26 [5.8%]
Turnout: 84.8%
West Midlands Trains
Yes: 636 [89.6%]
No: 74 [10.4%]
Turnout: 83.5%