UK business travelers may expect more “misery” in February as a result of the train drivers’ union ASLEF’s decision to strike again after the rail industry’s most recent pay offer was rejected.
In a conflict that has already seen drivers go on strike for six one-day periods since July 2022, the union announced that its members would strike on February 1 and 3. On these days, the action will have an impact on 15 train operating firms across the nation.
Since last summer, numerous rail unions have been engaged in different conflicts with employers that have resulted in a string of incapacitating strikes. ASLEF is just one of these unions.
The RMT union, which represents around 40,000 rail employees, staged several 48-hour stoppages in December and January that essentially shut down the UK’s rail network. As its own dispute lingers, the union is poised to announce additional dates for industrial action.
The Business Travel Association’s CEO, Clive Wratten, stated: “The decision to organize additional strikes will result in suffering throughout the nation. Businesses are unable to operate, and the loss of business travel alone costs the rail sector £1.4 million per day.
“The heart of our nation should be the train system; a solution must be reached to allow our industries and economy to develop once more.”
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 Island Line, TransPennine Express, and West Midlands Trains will all be impacted by the latest ASLEF strike next month.
The newest compensation offer, according to ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan, “is not and could never be acceptable, but we are willing to engage in additional conversations within the procedure that we previously agreed,” he stated.
“The offer came with so many stipulations that it was obviously untenable. Not alone is the offer a real terms pay loss, with inflation running north of 10%.”