Train drivers announce new strike dates to coincide with Tory conference

15 September 2023, 11:29

Train drivers announce two new strikes to coincide with Tory conference
Train drivers announce two new strikes to coincide with Tory conference. Picture: Alamy

By StephenRigley

Train drivers are to stage two fresh strikes coinciding with the Tory conference.

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Aslef announced its members at 16 train operators will walk out on September 30 - the day before the Conservatives annual gathering - and the final day of the event on October 4.

The union said the strikes will force train operators to cancel all services.

Mick Whelan, general secretary of Aslef, said: "While we regret having to take this action - we don't want to lose a day's pay or disrupt passengers as they 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's not right when prices have soared in that time.

"Train drivers quite reasonably want to be able to buy now what they could buy four years ago."

Passengers face fresh travel chaos after train drivers announced two new strike dates
Passengers face fresh travel chaos after train drivers announced two new strike dates. Picture: Alamy

Read More: 'Let’s get it in the open': RMT leader Mick Lynch agrees to negotiate with government live on TV amid ongoing strikes

Read More: How are the train strikes affecting each operator?

Aslef members will also ban overtime from September 29 to October 6, which the union said will "seriously disrupt" the rail network.

The strikes will cause travel chaos for those heading to and from the Conservative conference in Manchester, which is being held from October 1 to 4.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper branded the strikes "cynical" and "politically motivated".

He added: "Train drivers are paid an average of £60k for a 35-hour, 4 day week.

"There’s an offer on the table to take that up to £65k - and still they strike, putting their own jobs at risk."

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