London Overground: Train drivers’ union Aslef suspends strike after pay offer

Commuters exit aLondon Overground train service from Walthamstow at Liverpool Street Station  (AFP via Getty Images)
Commuters exit aLondon Overground train service from Walthamstow at Liverpool Street Station (AFP via Getty Images)

The train drivers’ union has announced that strike action set to take place on the London Overground on November 26 will be suspended.

Aslef, which represents train drivers, said the suspension of industrial action followed a pay offer made to members this week.

The offer will now be put to members who will decide whether to accept it, the union said.

Mick Whelan, Aslef’s General Secretary, claimed the union had successfully negotiated or been offered a pay deal by every operating company except those under contract with the Department for Transport (DfT).

Aslef members working at 11 train operators – including Avanti West Coast, LNER and Chiltern Rialways – will still walkout on November 26 in a dispute over jobs and working conditions, the union said.

The news comes just a week after a Tube strike by members of the RMT and Unite brought the capital to a standstill, with nine out of 11 London Underground lines shut down. Both unions have been involved in a long-running dispute with Transport for London (TfL) over jobs and pensions.

TfL’s recent funding agreement with the Government requires it to develop options around pensions, but the organisation said if changes are to be made, there will be consultations and further work before any decisions are taken.

The RMT said it has asked TfL to pause any job cuts and pension changes to give both sides time to negotiate a deal.

Mr Whelan said: “It’s clearer than ever that the DfT is preventing its contracted companies from taking part in free negotiation, and preventing them from making a fair pay offer to our members. It’s time for the Transport Secretary to see sense, stop these ideological restrictions, and allow our employers to negotiate with us properly.

“The process of industrial negotiation, and any offers, is not ‘one size fits all’ and, until they signed these dodgy deals with the DfT, we have had very productive industrial relationships with the train operating companies which mean we can reach agreements by negotiation.”

The Standard has contacted the DfT for comment.