Train drivers at 16 rail companies to strike next month

Train drivers at 16 rail companies will stage a series of fresh strikes next month in their long-running pay dispute, the Aslef union has announced.

The drivers will walk out from Tuesday 7 May until Thursday 9 May, overtime will also be banned for six days from 6 May.

Full list of strike dates and lines affected

The union said it had not met employers or the government for more than a year, accusing ministers of "giving up" trying to resolve the near two-year dispute.

On 7 May drivers will walk out at c2c, Greater Anglia, GTR Great Northern Thameslink, Southeastern, Southern, Gatwick Express and South Western Railway.

The following day, on 8 May, there will be strikes at Avanti West Coast, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Great Western Railway and West Midlands Trains.

Members at LNER, Northern Trains and TransPennine Express will then strike on 9 May.

Aslef say drivers have not had a pay rise for five years, since their last pay deals expired in 2019.

The union said that after its members voted overwhelmingly in February to continue industrial action, it asked the train operating companies to hold talks.

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General secretary Mick Whelan described the year-old offer of a 4% pay rise followed by a second 4% increase as "risible" and "dead in the water".

He said: "We first balloted for industrial action in June 2022, after three years without a pay rise. It took eight one-day strikes to persuade the train operating companies (Tocs) to come to the table and talk.

"Our negotiating team met the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) on eight occasions - the last being on Wednesday 26 April last year.

"That was followed by the Tocs' 'land grab' for all our terms & conditions on Thursday 27 April - which was immediately rejected.

"Since then, train drivers have voted, again and again, to take action to get a pay rise.

"That's why Mark Harper, the transport secretary, is being disingenuous when he says that offer should have been put to members. Drivers would not vote to strike if they thought an offer was acceptable."

The Department for Transport has not yet commented on the new round of industrial action.