Train driver strikes extended for another six months amid long-running pay dispute

14 June 2023, 15:39

Aslef members have voted to continue strikes
Aslef members have voted to continue strikes. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Train drivers have voted to continue taking strike action for a further six months amid an ongoing pay dispute.

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Aslef said a re-ballot of its members showed they are "in it for the long haul".

Unions involved in industrial disputes have to hold a fresh ballot every six months to ask their members if they want to continue taking action.

The union balloted 12,500 of its members at 15 train operators, with most voting by more than 90% in favour of continuing with strikes and other forms of industrial action.

Aslef has taken 11 days of strike action since last summer.

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Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan
Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan. Picture: Alamy

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said on Wednesday: "Once again our members have decided that we are in this for the long haul.

"Train drivers are sick to the back teeth of their employers and the Government failing to negotiate in good faith, and blaming drivers for their inability to manage services and the rail industry effectively.

"Aslef members, the key workers who kept our country moving through the pandemic, are simply asking for a fair deal on pay so that they can afford to keep up with their outgoings in this Government-made cost-of-living crisis.

"We have always said we are prepared to come to the table but the Government and the train companies need to understand that this dispute won't be resolved by trying to bully our members into accepting worse terms and conditions."

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A Department for Transport spokesperson said: "The Government has played its part to try and end this dispute, enabling a generous pay offer that would see train drivers' already high salaries increase from an average of £60,000.

"That's why today's results are disappointing for rail passengers across the country who want this dispute to end.

"Whilst Aslef members have been able to vote on extending the strikes, union leaders have repeatedly denied them a chance to vote on the very fair pay offer that would end these strikes.

"We urge them to do the right thing and give members a say on that pay offer."