Members of the RMT union working at Network Rail and 14 train companies have voted for another six months of strikes, meaning more industrial action is likely unless a deal on pay, job security, and working conditions is reached.
Out of the 40,000 members balloted, more than 91 per cent of votes were in favour of further strikes, with the average turnout 70.2 per cent.
Last week the UK’s train drivers’ union, the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (Aslef), has announced another 24-hour strike on November 26 in a dispute over pay.
Aslef had called off three strikes set to take place on November 5, 7, and 9, to enable a period of “intensive” negotiations which are currently underway.
On November 17, they announced that strike action set to take place on the London Overground on November 26 will be suspended but members working at 11 train operators – including Avanti West Coast, LNER and Chiltern Rialways – will still walkout.
The action is set to cause disruption across the UK, with many trains expected to be cancelled or delayed.
Find out when the strike is planned for and which train companies will be impacted.
When are the November train strikes?
Train staff will walk out on Saturday, November 26, for 24 hours.
Union members have previously walked out for 24 hours on July 30, August 13, October 1, and October 5.
UK: Train Strike | 5th October 2022
Which train companies are striking in November?
The companies striking are the following:
Avanti West Coast
East Midlands Railway
Great Western Railway
London North Eastern Railway
West Midlands Trains
Why are union members striking?
Mick Whelan, general secretary of Aslef, said in a statement: “We regret that passengers will be inconvenienced for another day. We don’t want to be taking this action. Withdrawing our labour is always a last resort for a trade union.
“We have come to the table, as we always will, in good faith but while the industry continues to make no offer – due to the dodgy deal they signed with the DfT – we have no choice but to take strike action again.”
UK: Train Strike | Thursday 18 August 2022
He added: “They want drivers to take a real-terms pay cut. With inflation now well into double figures, train drivers who kept Britain moving through the pandemic are now being expected to work just as hard this year as last year but for less. Most of these drivers have not had an increase in salary since 2019.
“We want the companies – which are making huge profits – to make a proper pay offer so that our members can keep up with the cost of living.”
Is there an end in sight?
An offer of eight per cent over two years has been made but the RMT says this fails to keep pace with inflation. A renewed offer, backdating the offer to the last pay rise in 2019, is reportedly being considered by Network Rail.
What do rail bosses say?
A Rail Delivery Group spokesman said: “The actions of the RMT leadership are driving more people off the rail network, exacerbating an already challenging time for the industry.
“With one in five people having been impacted by these strikes, we had hoped given their recent call for ‘intense negotiations’ they would give our staff and customers a much-needed break from the disruption and lost pay of the last five months – and continue the constructive atmosphere that is more likely to produce a swift agreement and secure the long-term future of this industry.
“This has to include the reforms needed to fund a pay rise for our staff and enable train operators to tackle the permanent post-pandemic shift travel patterns.”