Train drivers’ union announces fresh overtime ban in pay dispute


Train drivers will stage another week-long overtime ban in August as part of the long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

Members of Aslef at 15 train companies in England will again refuse to work overtime between Monday August 7 and Saturday August 12.

The union said the ban will seriously disrupt services as none of the train companies employs enough drivers.

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The move will affect Avanti West Coast; Chiltern Railways; Cross Country; East Midlands Railway; Greater Anglia; Great Western Railway; GTR Great Northern Thameslink; Island Line; LNER; Northern Trains; Southeastern; Southern/Gatwick Express; South Western Railway main line; TransPennine Express and West Midlands Trains.

It will be the fifth week-long ban on working overtime since May. The latest ban ended on Saturday, with another one due from July 31 to August 5.

Mick Whelan, Aslef’s general secretary, said: “We don’t want to take this action – because we don’t want people to be inconvenienced – but the train companies, and the government which stands behind them, have forced us into this place because they refuse to sit down and talk to us and have not made a fair and sensible pay offer to train drivers who have not had one for four years – since 2019 – while prices have soared in that time by more than 12%.”

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Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union staged two strikes last week and will walk out again on Saturday in a bitter row over pay, jobs and conditions.

A spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Aslef’s leadership continues to disrupt customers’ travel plans. They rejected a fair and affordable offer without putting it to their members, which would take average driver base salaries for a four day week without overtime from £60,000 to nearly £65,000 by the end of 2023 pay awards.

“Train companies will work hard to minimise the impact of the overtime ban that will affect the level of cancellations and the punctuality of some services. Customers are advised to plan their journey in advance and check the latest travel information before they travel.

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“We ask Aslef to recognise the very real financial challenge the industry is facing and work with us to deliver a better, more reliable railway with a strong long-term future.”

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