TRAVEL is set to be disrupted once more across the UK as further national train strikes have been announced next month.
Here’s everything you need to know about why drivers are going on strike and which services will be affected.
What are the rail strike dates?
Drivers from 12 operators across the county are expected to hold two 24-hour strikes next month following a long dispute over pay and working conditions.
Strike action was planned for September 15, but union leaders postponed following the death of the Queen.
Mick Lynch, general secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, said: ‘RMT joins the whole nation in paying its respects to Queen Elizabeth. The planned railway strike action on 15 and 17 September is suspended. We express our deepest condolences to her family, friends and the country.’
Aslef, the train drivers union is coordinating the action, and have yet to confirm the new dates.
The most recent strikes at the end of August saw four out of five train services cancelled, causing chaos for those travelling to festivals and sporting events.
TSSA union boss, Manuel Cortes has called on the government to allow train operators to return to the negotiating table with a revised deal which improves on the 2% offer which was rejected earlier in the summer.
Mr Cortes also blasted the former Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
Cortes said: “The dead hand of Grant Shapps is sadly stopping DfT train operating companies from making a revised, meaningful offer.
“Frankly, he either sits across the negotiating table with our union or gets out of the way to allow railway bosses to freely negotiate with us, as they have done in the past.”
TSSA said it remained in discussion with National Rail over the possibility of a settlement that would avoid the strike.
When do the train strikes finish?
Following the national period of mourning, it’s expected that further industrial action is set to be announced.
It’s thought that the action would take place on October 1 and October 5, bringing further misery to commuters.
Unions across the country are trying to negotiate pay increases for their members which keep up with surging inflation and the cost of living crisis.
Which train lines are affected by the rail strike?
The companies with planned strikes next month are:
- TransPennine Express
- West Midlands Trains
- Avanti West Coast
- East Midlands Railway
- Great Western Railway
The rail network saw widescale disruption in June 2022, after 40,000 RMT union members at 13 train companies and Network Rail went on strike.
Will there be any more rail strikes in 2022?
After the mass walk out in June, rail strikes have been an ongoing issue – and more dates could be added if workers do not receive the deal they are striking for.
TSSA boss Manuel Cortes said: “No one takes strike action lightly, but we have been left with little choice.
“Our General Grades and Controllers are a force to be reckoned with. Without them the rail network does not run, it is that simple.
“Sadly, it now looks as though we are about to see yet more disruption on our railways this summer.
“It’s time bosses at the company told the government they must get a grip.
“Our door remains open but only if there is a meaningful offer on the table which will give our members the fair deal they deserve for keeping our rail network safe every day of the year.”
RMT boss Mick Lynch said action by his union will continue “until we reach a settlement”.
He told LBC’s Nick Ferrari: “We’re not any closer. We’ve had no offer from the train operating companies and the position of Network Rail is as it was during the last phase of action.”
He also warned that the UK could be hit by a wave of strikes in “every sector of the economy”.
On August 25, 2022, Aslef revealed that members at another three train companies voted overwhelmingly for strike action in a dispute over pay.
General secretary of the train drivers’ union Mick Whelan said: “Strikes are always the last resort.
“But you can see from the votes – and the turnouts – just how angry our members are.”
He added: “We are calling on the [train operating] companies to come to the table with a proper proposal to help our members, their drivers, buy this year what they could buy last year.”