Latest round of train strikes has caused widespread disruption on the rail network.

Latest round of train strikes has caused widespread disruption on the rail network.

On Friday, as the summer break came to a close, rail unions unleashed a new round of strike chaos on the rail system.

Today’s schedules are badly disrupted due to a 24-hour walkout by members of the railway drivers’ union Aslef; trains are beginning later and ending earlier than usual, and in some locations there are no services at all.

The Aslef union stoppage has impacted the work of thirteen different operators. Train companies have announced that they will not run their services because of the strike, including Thameslink, Southeastern, Southern, and East Midlands Railway.
At a picket line in Euston, north London, Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said, “The feedback we get – and we talk to drivers every day – is that they’re in it for the long haul.”

Strike on the railroads | September 1, 2023

Scenes at London’s Paddington Station as More Train Delays Cause Panic PA

P.A. Wire at Paddington Station

During a strike by the Aslef union PA, a passenger at London’s Paddington station

Commuters using London’s Paddington Station on the day of a strike by the Aslef union PA

During a strike, Aslef union PA members picketed this ticket barrier at London’s Paddington train station.

The departures board at London’s Paddington Station………. und

Commuters using London’s Paddington Station on the day of a strike by the Aslef union PA

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The end of this year will mark five years without a raise for some of our members; but, there is no evidence of weakness or lack of resolve, and in many cases, our members want to push harder and faster.
The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which speaks for railway companies, has urged that Aslef must demonstrate “movement” toward new methods of work. This was stated by RDG spokesman Robert Nisbet.

When asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme why the RDG and Aslef have not met since April, Mr Nisbet said, “Because they will not accept that core principle.”
He then said, “We are looking for movement on that.”
The biggest issue here at the moment with Aslef is that they won’t accept a link to changing the way the industry operates,” Mr. Nisbet had stated earlier.

Commuters aren’t returning in the numbers that they imagined, so “we have to face the fact that the industry has changed substantially since Covid.”With revenues down 30%, we’re pleading with unions to take a sober, present-minded look at things.

General Secretary of Aslef Mick Whelan on the London picket line at Euston / PA

On the same day that the Rail, Maritime, and Transport union goes on strike over pay, jobs, and conditions, the union’s drivers have decided to restrict overtime as well.
Both unions hold the government responsible for stymieing any negotiations by not letting train companies provide an offer that would be acceptable to their members.

After taxpayers supported rail workers through the pandemic, it’s frustrating to see both Aslef and RMT coordinate their strikes to cause as much inconvenience as possible on the last weekend of the summer holidays,” a Department of Transportation spokesperson stated.

PA

“There remains fair and reasonable offers on the table for both unions,” the spokesperson said. “RMT members working for Network Rail accepted one months ago that would bring average train driver salaries up to £65,000. “Continued industrial action is disappointing and delays the reforms that would ultimately benefit passengers, rail workers, and taxpayers.”
On Friday, South Western Railway warned customers that most of its network will be closed and to only use the service if “absolutely necessary.”

Trains will only operate between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on a small number of lines, making this a “extremely limited” service.
Due to the RMT strike and the Aslef overtime prohibition, the identical recommendation was issued for Saturday.
Stephen Hammond, a Conservative member of parliament and resident of Wimbledon, has spoken out against the walkouts, saying, “Yet again the people affected are my constituents whose lives are interrupted. I strongly suggest the unions come to an agreement.
On Thursday night, a demonstration took place in front of Downing Street.

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