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Nine days of miserable travel as new London Underground and rail strikes set to begin

Nine days of disruption to the national rail network and London Underground are about to begin.

On Friday September 29, Aslef-owned train drivers will begin banning overtime at 14 English train operators contracted to run services by the Department for Transport (DfT).

It marks the start of the latest tranche of industrial action in a long-running bitter dispute over pay and working arrangements. The union says the ban on rest days “will seriously disrupt the network as privatized railway companies have still failed to employ enough drivers to provide an adequate service”.

On Saturday September 30 and Wednesday October 4, Aslef members will demonstrate in front of the same rail operators, which include all major intercity and commuter companies. The union says: “The strike will force train operating companies to cancel all services. » Some will eliminate all trains, while others will provide reduced service for limited hours.

Transport for Wales, ScotRail and ‘open access’ operators such as Lumo and Grand Central are unaffected – although many services are likely to be busier than usual.

The impact of the train drivers’ walkout will continue until Sunday October 1, with Southern warning: “Disruption from a one-day strike will have a knock-on effect, meaning the first services will start many times later than usual, with certain routes. have no service before 7 a.m.

The ban on working overtime in Aslef continues on Monday 2, Tuesday 3, Thursday 5 and Friday 6 October. In the middle, Wednesday October 4: a second strike of train drivers as part of the ongoing social movement.

The same day will see serious disruption to the national rail network as well as a near-total shutdown of the London Underground. RMT members employed in the metro withdraw amid a dispute over jobs and security. They will also strike on Friday October 6, affecting night and Saturday morning metro services. The London Overground and Elizabeth Line are unaffected but are expected to be much busier than usual.

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said of the latest train drivers’ strike: “While we regret having to take this action – we don’t want to lose a day’s pay, or cause disruption to passengers while They are trying to travel by train – the government and employers have forced us into this position.

“Our members have not had a pay rise for four years – since 2019 – and that is not right when prices have skyrocketed during this time. Train drivers rightly want to be able to buy now what they could buy four years ago.”

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents train operators, says its current offer would increase drivers’ average pay from £60,000 to £65,000 for a four-day week.

An RDG spokesperson said: “We want to resolve this dispute and are keenly aware of the detrimental impact it has on our passengers, our colleagues and the long-term sustainability of the industry itself. We apologize to our customers for the unnecessary disruption to their travels caused by Aslef’s management.

“As the industry loses £10 million a day post-Covid, union leaders must recognize the need to make changes to the way the sector is run, both to fund any increases salary and, above all, so that we can give our passengers more reliable train services, especially on Sundays.

Commenting on the London Underground strike, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Station staff are fed up with seeing their livelihoods threatened by job losses and attacks on their conditions of use.

“These job cuts and attacks on conditions will lead to more unstaffed stations, temporary closures and growing passenger anger.

“This strike action will result in the closure of the metro and we are calling on Mayor Sadiq Khan to meet urgently to discuss this matter.”

Glynn Barton, Transport for London’s operations director, said: “We are disappointed that the RMT has announced strike action despite our open discussions on these issues.

“No one wants to see strikes that cause significant disruption to our customers and we urge them to reconsider and continue to work with us.”

Rail and Tube: Calendar of industrial action

  • Friday September 29: ban on overtime for train drivers
  • Saturday September 30: train drivers’ strike
  • Sunday October 1: disruptions in the morning caused by the train drivers’ strike
  • Monday October 2: ban on overtime for train drivers
  • Tuesday October 3: ban on overtime for train drivers
  • Wednesday October 4: train drivers’ strike and London Underground strike
  • Thursday October 5: ban on overtime for train drivers
  • Friday October 6: London Underground strike and ban on overtime for train drivers
  • Saturday October 7: disruptions in the morning caused by the London Underground strike

independent

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