As rail unions, the train operating companies and Network Rail fail to reach any agreement in the long-running dispute on pay, jobs and safety, many organisations’ staff will struggle to commute to work in the normal way. Employers need to know when is the next train strike, whether it will affect their workers, and what the impact the industrial action is likely to have on train services.
There are currently three unions in dispute with the railway companies: the RMT, Aslef and the TSSA.
RMT union strikes
The RMT union has anounced four 48-hour strikes on the following dates:
- 13-14 December 2022
- 16-17 December 2022
- 3-4 January 2023
- 6-7 January 2023.
More than 40,000 members of the RMT have voted in favour of more strikes after months of disruption on the railways. The RMT has also announced an overtime ban covering the Christmas period between 18 December and 2 January.
Previous strikes by the RMT have had a major impact on services throughout England, Scotland and Wales, often affecting trains the day before and the day after strikes begin. This means that 15 December and 5 January, while not officially strike dates, are likely in effect to be severely disrupted also. The 12 and 18 December and 2 and 8 January are likely to be affected as well.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “This latest round of strikes will show how important our members are to the running of this country and will send a clear message that we want a good deal on job security, pay and conditions for our people.
“We have been reasonable, but it is impossible to find a negotiated settlement when the dead hand of government is presiding over these talks.
“The employers are in disarray and saying different things to different people sometimes at the same time. This whole process has become a farce that only the new Secretary of State can resolve. When I meet him later this week, I will deliver that message.”
Tim Shoveller, Network Rail’s chief negotiator, said: “No one can deny the precarious financial hole in which the railway finds itself. Striking makes that hole bigger and the task of finding a resolution ever more difficult.”
Aslef union strike action
Members of the Aslef trade union are going ahead with a strike on Saturday 26 November at 12 rail companies in a dispute over pay. This industrial action involves train drivers working for the following train operators:
- Avanti West Coast – no services on the day
- Chiltern Railways – no services
- CrossCountry – no services
- East Midlands Railway – no services
- Great Western Railway – an “extremely limited” service
- Greater Anglia – “heavily reduced” service
- London North Eastern Railway – “limited” service
- Northern Trains – no services
- Southeastern – no services
- Transpennine Express – “very limited” service
- West Midlands Trains – no services.
As with all rail strikes, the impact is often felt the day before and the day after as trains are often in the wrong locations.
TSSA industrial action
The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association has recently suspended action with Network Rail as negotiations take place.
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