Rail passengers face another day of chaos as train drivers walk out for the second time this week after turning down an 8% pay rise offer that would take the average wage to almost £65,000
Rail passengers face fresh misery today after another strike by train drivers who rejected a pay rise that would have left them with an average salary of £65,000.
Members of Aslef and the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will walk away in a long-running dispute over wages and conditions – leaving large parts of the country without services.
Rail operators have warned of severe disruption, with trains running expected to start later and finish much earlier than usual – usually between 7.30am and 6.30pm.
It is likely that Saturday morning services on certain lines will be affected because the rolling stock will not be in the correct depots.
The rail industry said it was working hard to keep as many trains running and slammed the rejection of a bid that would give drivers an 8% pay rise over two years, boosting average wages by nearly £60,000 a year to nearly £65,000. .
Rail operators have warned of severe disruption, with trains running expected to start later and finish much earlier than usual – usually between 7.30am and 6.30pm
Simon Weller, Aslef’s deputy general secretary, said the dispute was going “upside down” due to the lack of progress in months of talks.
He said: ‘I don’t know whether to point the finger at the incompetence of the Department for Transport or the Rail Delivery Group.
“We would be hard-pressed to recommend a deal for a 4% pay rise for last year and 4% this year if there were no strings attached, but we are being asked to drop collective bargaining and actually agree to a no-strike agreement.
“Obviously he was going to be rejected – he was designed to fail.”
Mr Weller said the attitude of Aslef members was “hardening”, but he believed the fault lay entirely with the DfT and the rail operators.
He claimed the latest offer would add a “significant” number of contract hours to a train driver.
On whether Sunday work should be compulsory, he said: “We wanted to include Sunday in the working week, but companies are finding it cheaper to have drivers working overtime. extra on Sundays.
A Rail Delivery Group spokesperson said: ‘Having made an initial offer which would have taken the average driver’s salary from £60,000 to almost £65,000, we had hoped that Aslef management would commit constructively to advance the talks, rather than staging more unnecessary strikes. We can only apologize for the inconvenience.
“To minimize the impact of the Aslef action, we advise passengers to check before travelling, allow extra time and know when their first and last train will depart.”
This will be the train drivers’ second strike this week, after they took part in Wednesday’s big day of collective action, which also involved teachers, academics, civil servants, bus drivers and police officers. security.
Around 1,900 Unite members working as bus drivers for Abellio in London will end a three-day strike on Friday in a separate pay dispute.