Train drivers will strike on FA Cup Final day, union reveals as it announces three fresh spates of industrial action
- General secretary Mick Whelan said drivers have not had a pay rise since 2019
- Wembley will be hosting the Manchester City V United match on June 3, 2023
Train drivers will strike on FA Cup Final day, union bosses have revealed as they announced three further spates of industrial action.
Members of Aslef will walk out on May 12 and 31, as well as when Wembley hosts Manchester City and Manchester United on June 3.
The union said it has rejected a ‘risible’ 4 per cent pay offer from the 16 train companies with which it is in a long-running row over pay.
General secretary Mick Whelan said drivers have not had a pay rise at those companies since 2019, adding: ‘Our executive committee met this morning and rejected a risible proposal we received from the Rail Delivery Group (RDG).
‘The proposal – of just 4 per cent – was clearly not designed to be accepted as inflation is still running north of 10 per cent and our members at these companies have not had an increase for four years.
Train drivers will stage three fresh strikes in a long-running row over pay, including on FA Cup final day. Members of Aslef will walk out on May 12 and 31 – and when Wembley hosts Manchester City and Manchester United on June 3 (Wembley Stadium is pictured)
The union said it has rejected a ‘risible’ 4 per cent pay offer from the 16 train companies it remains in dispute with (pictured, stationary trains during a national strike in March, in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire)
‘The RDG, in turn, rejected our proposals to modernise Britain’s railways and help them run more efficiently, for passengers and for businesses, in the 21st century.
‘Consequently, we have today announced three more days of strike action on Friday May 12, Wednesday May 31 and Saturday June 3 at the companies with which we are in dispute, and which are letting down passengers, and taxpayers, so badly.
‘We are also withdrawing non-contractual overtime from Monday May 15 to Saturday 20 inclusive, as well as on Saturday May 13 and Thursday June 1.’
The train operating companies involved in the dispute are: Avanti West Coast; Chiltern Railways; CrossCountry; East Midlands Railway; Great Western Railway; Greater Anglia; GTR Great Northern Thameslink; London North Eastern Railway; Northern Trains; Southeastern; Southern/Gatwick Express; South Western Railway; SWR depot drivers; SWR Island Line; TransPennine Express; and West Midlands Trains.
Aslef said its negotiating team has met representatives of the employers on eight occasions over the past year to try to find a resolution to the long-running dispute.
The union said it took eight one-day strikes to bring the train operators and the government ‘to their senses and persuade them to sit down and talk properly’.
Mr Whelan added: ‘We do not want to go on strike, we do not want to inconvenience passengers, we have families and friends who use the railway, too, and we believe in investing in rail for the future of this country but the blame for this action lies, fairly and squarely, at the feet of the employers who have forced our hand over this by their intransigence.
General secretary Mick Whelan (pictured) explained that drivers have not had a pay rise at those companies since 2019. He said: ‘Our executive committee met this morning and rejected a risible proposal we received from the Rail Delivery Group (RDG)’
‘It is now up to them to come up with a more sensible, and realistic, offer and we ask the government not to hinder this process.’
In the new year, sources told the Daily Mail that government officials and industry chiefs found Mr Whelan ‘deeply unpleasant’ in recent meetings.
Ministers were understood to be prepared to fight it out publicly for months with Aslef, which claims average driver salaries of £60,000 are not enough.