orkers at nine train operating companies and at railways operator Network Rail will strike for 24 hours from midday on September 26, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) has said.
The operating companies that will be affected by strikes are Avanti West Coast, c2c, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Great Western Railway, LNER and Southeastern.
The industrial action is the latest in a series of strikes called by train and bus drivers’ unions this summer. The TSSA is calling for what it said is a fair pay rise and also wants assurances about job security. It coincides with the Labour Party’s annual conference, which begins in Liverpool on Sunday September 25.
To compound further misery on commuters, members of the ASLEF union, which represents 96 per cent of train drivers in England, Scotland, and Wales, will walk out at 12 train operating companies on Thursday 15 September in a dispute over pay.
The train companies which will be hit by the industrial action are London Overground, Southeastern, Avanti West Coast, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, Greater Anglia, Great Western Railway, Hull Trains, LNER, Northern Trains, TransPennine Express; and West Midlands Trains.
Railway workers went on strike for a number of days in August in a dispute over pay and working conditions. Members of the RMT, ASLEF, and TSSA unions walked out, following industrial action in June and July.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said that “this dispute will not simply vanish” and urged the rail industry and the government to “get serious about providing an offer on pay which helps deal with the cost-of-living crisis, job security for our members and provides good conditions at work”.
Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, said the union members had “been forced into this position by the train companies, driven by the Tory government” and that “strike action is, now, the only option available”.
On strike days, only around a fifth of normal services ran, and half of the lines were closed. But more strikes have been announced for the end of this month.
Find out below when the next transport strikes are and which services will be affected.
When were the strikes in August?
Train strikes took place on August 13, August 18, and August 20, following the strikes on July 27 and July 30.
Train drivers at nine rail companies went on strike over pay, their union ASLEF announced. The companies affected by this industrial action were Arriva Rail London, Chiltern Railways, Greater Anglia, Great Western, Hull Trains, LNER, Southeastern, London Overground, and West Midlands Trains.
There were then further RMT strikes on August 18 and 20.
The companies affected by this strike were Network Rail, Chiltern Railways, Cross Country Trains, Greater Anglia, LNER, East Midlands Railway, c2c, Great Western Railway, Northern Trains, South Eastern, South Western Railway, Transpennine Express, Avanti West Coast, West Midlands Trains, London Overground, and GTR (including Gatwick Express).
Additionally, London Underground and Overground workers went on strike on August 19, while London bus drivers walked out on the same day in a separate strike.
Why are there train strikes?
The RMT called strike action in a dispute over “job security, pay and working conditions”.
Lynch said: “Recent proposals from Network Rail fell well short on pay and on safety around maintenance work. And the train operating companies have not even made us a pay offer in recent negotiations.”
ASLEF’s Mick Whelan said: “The drivers at the companies where we are striking have had a real terms pay cut over the last three years since April 2019.
“And these companies are offering us nothing, saying their hands have been tied by the government.
“That means, in real terms, with inflation running ahead at 9%, 10%, and even 11% this year, according to which index you use, that they are being told to take a real terms pay cut. And that is not acceptable.”
He added: “Strikes are always the last resort. We don’t want to inconvenience passengers – our friends and families use public transport too – and we don’t want to lose money by going on strike but we’ve been forced into this position by the companies, who say they have been driven to this by the Government.”