There will be NO TRAINS from Northampton on two of the next three Saturdays as drivers stage one-day walkouts in the worsening dispute over pay and conditions.
Union ASLEF confirmed its planned strike this weekend (July 30) will be followed by another on August 13 affecting nine rail companies including West Midlands Trains, which operates London Northwestern Railway services between London, Northampton, Birmingham and the North West.
Strike-day timetables operated on Wednesday (July 27) as managers and station staff from the Rail, Maritime and Transport union staged its latest 24-hour action with skeleton services running between 7.30am and 6.30pm only.
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But the drivers’ walkout will mean no trains at all on the Northampton line.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps has accused unions of wanting to “cause misery to travelling public”.
But ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan said: “Strikes are always the last resort.
“We don’t want to inconvenience passengers, our friends and families use public transport, too. And we don’t want to lose money by going on strike.
“But we’ve been forced into this position by the companies, who say they have been driven to this by the Tory Government.
“Many of our members – who were the men and women who moved key workers and goods around the country during the pandemic – have not had a pay rise since 2019.”
Mr Whelan added: “The Government isn’t asking companies to cut profits or dividend payments to help manage inflation. Wages are chasing prices, not putting them up.
“We don’t see why we should forego an increase in salary to keep pace with inflation and help the privatised train companies make even bigger profits to send abroad.”
This weekend’s ASLEF strike involves seven train companies while August 13’s action will also affect Avanti West Coast — which serves Milton Keynes and Rugby — and CrossCountry after its drivers voted nine-to-one in favour of joining the action.
A ballot of ASLEF members working for East Midlands Railway on trains through Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough closes on September 19.
RMT also announced its members will strike again on August 18 and 20.