Bristol rail strikes: ASLEF announce new strike action dates after postponement over Queen Elizabeth’s death
Further strike action set to stifle travel across Bristol as new dates announced
ASLEF union members at 12 railway firms have voted to walk out on Saturday, October 1 and Wednesday, October 5 amid a dispute over the gap between increases in pay.
The union was originally due to hold strike action on Thursday, September 15, but this was suspended following the Queen’s death on September 8.
Two other unions, the Rail Maritime and Transport union (RMT) and TSSA rail union, are yet to announce the dates of their rescheduled strikes, but they are also likely to come in October.
It follows three days of strike action last month, with no trains operating in or out of Bristol Temple Meads at all on August 20.
The strikes are expected to affect the following operators:
- Avanti West Coast
- Chiltern Railways
- Greater Anglia
- Great Western Railway
- Hull Trains
- London Overground
- Northern Trains
- TransPennine Express
- West Midlands Trains
Why are rail workers going on strike?
Workers are striking over pay and conditions, with unions objecting to pay offers well below inflation.
Mick Whelan, ASLEF’s general secretary, said: “We would much rather not be in this position. We don’t want to go on strike – withdrawing your labour, although a fundamental human right, is always a last resort for this trade union – but the train companies have been determined to force our hand.
“They are telling train drivers to take a real terms pay cut. With inflation now running at 12.3% – and set, it is said, to go higher – these companies are saying that drivers should be prepared to work just as hard, for just as long, but for considerably less.
“The companies with whom we are in dispute have not offered us a penny. It is outrageous that they expect us to put up with a real terms pay cut for a third year in a row. And that’s why we are going on strike. To persuade the companies to be sensible, to do the right thing, and come and negotiate properly with us. Not to run up and say, ‘Our hands are tied and the government will not allow us to offer you an increase’”.