Train passengers are suffering delays as train drivers from nine operating firms go on strike for 24 hours, suspending services in various regions of England, Scotland, and Wales.
The strikes on Saturday impact nine railway companies and come after the union said that the operators had failed to submit a salary offer in accordance with the cost of living rise.
Thousands of Aslef union members are on strike in the latest round of industrial action in a stalled dispute over wages and “modernisation” of the railway.
Aslef’s general secretary, Mick Whelan, stated that union members were “forced” to strike owing to the failure of discussions with railway companies.
“We don’t want to go on strike; strikes are usually a last choice,” he explained, “but the firms and the government have pushed our hand.”
It comes as Grant Shapps wants to crack down on unions with new laws in the upcoming session of parliament, while doubting the effectiveness of strike action.
The transport minister told the Telegraph that union bosses were “driven by some antiquated class conflict that hankers for days gone by.”
“Much to their chagrin, they’re not bringing the country to a halt since individuals can work from home,” he continued.
“The world has evolved. It has progressed. These union executives are dinosaurs who aren’t aware of it.”
Plans are being considered to end coordinated industrial action, limit picketing, and impose a cooling-off period after strikes.
Shapps’ suggestions, however, are contingent on whether the new prime minister, who takes office on September 5, keeping him as a minister.
Barry Gardiner, the Labour MP for Brent North, told Aslef members at Willesden Junction station on Saturday that the public was becoming more sympathetic to strike train drivers.
“Across the country, people are realizing that this isn’t about someone else inconveniencing them,” Gardiner said.
“This is about their employers, their corporations, who are coming for their salary levels and terms and conditions.” “This is now about me,” many are saying.
In England, Scotland, and Wales, Aslef represents 96% of train drivers.
Arriva Rail London, Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, Greater Anglia, Great Western Railway, Hull Trains, London North Eastern Railway (LNER), West Midlands Trains, and Southeastern are all on strike.
Because to the strike, no trains will run on London Overground, CrossCountry, Southeastern, West Midlands Trains, London Northwestern Railway, or Avanti West Coast on Saturday.
Hull Trains, Great Western Railway, LNER, and Greater Anglia’s networks are operating with very restricted services, including the Stansted Express airport service.
transportation unions, which will severely limit rail operations. Trains will also be interrupted for four days beginning Thursday, when 40,000 RMT union members at Network Rail and 14 train operators conduct two 24-hour strikes on August 18 and 20. Thousands of TSSA members at Network Rail and seven train operators will strike on the same day.
Due to a scarcity of signallers, only around one-fifth of the normal timetable will be operated on strike days, with services not likely to restart properly until late morning on the following days.
On the day in between the national rail strikes, August 19, RMT members and some Unite members at Transport for London and London Overground will go on strike. The majority of tube and London Overground services in the capital will be suspended. Parts of the city will also be without buses when 1,600 Unite union drivers in west London go on strike for two days beginning August 19th.