Train strikes: When are the next 24-hour walkouts and what will they mean for Northampton rail passengers

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Services to London Euston will be affected on six days in early-October

Train passengers have circled six new dates in October when strikes will hit services at Northampton.

Unions cancelled two 24-hour walkouts planned for September during the period of national mourning following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

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But industrial action by members of the train drivers union Aslef and the RMT will now bring the network to a standstill on October 1 — including the London Northwestern Railway route between London Euston and Birmingham — as part of a pay dispute with up to 14 train companies.

Passengers at Northampton face more disruption on four days next month as rail unions stage one-day walkouts.Passengers at Northampton face more disruption on four days next month as rail unions stage one-day walkouts.
Passengers at Northampton face more disruption on four days next month as rail unions stage one-day walkouts.

That will be followed by another 24-hour strike by Aslef affecting 13 operators on October 5.

RMT leaders announced on Thursday (September 22) its members would stage another walkout on October 8.

Early-morning services will also be impacted on both days following the strikes — which are the first since the summer holiday period.

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Aslef general secretary, Mick Whelan, insisted drivers have not had a pay rise since 2019, adding: “We don’t want to go on strike – withdrawing your labour is always a last resort for this trade union.

“But the train companies have been determined to force our hand.

“They are telling train drivers to take a real terms pay cut. With inflation now running at 12.3 percent – and set, it is said, to go higher – these companies are saying that drivers should be prepared to work just as hard, for just as long, but for considerably less.

“The companies with whom we are in dispute have not offered us a penny. It is outrageous that they expect us to put up with a real terms pay cut for a third year in a row.

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“That’s why we are going on strike. To persuade the companies to negotiate properly with us. Not to run up and say ‘Our hands are tied and the Government will not allow us to offer you an increase’.

“Train drivers kept Britain moving – key workers and goods around the country – throughout the pandemic and we deserve to be treated better than this.

"That’s why we are calling on the companies – which are making big profits, and paying their chief executives enormous salaries and bonuses – to make a pay offer to our members to keep up with the rise in the cost of living.”

Aslef members at East Midlands Railway this week voted overwhelmingly to join the dispute. The company is likely to attempt to run a skeleton service at Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough on October 1 and October 8 but all trains will be cancelled on October 5.

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Thousands of motorists will continue to face delays as busy road in Northampton ...

Next month’s walkouts are the latest in a series of stoppages by rail workers through the summer in a long and bitter dispute on pay and modernisation

A statement from the Rail Delivery Group, representing train operators, said: “Revenue is still around 80 percent of pre-pandemic levels. No business can survive that scale of upheaval without implementing change.

“These strikes will once again hugely inconvenience the very passengers the industry needs to support its recovery from the ongoing impact of the pandemic.”

■ This article has been updated following the RMT’s announcement of another strike day on October 8.