Train strikes: Northampton passengers set to be hit hardest as third rail union threatens walkouts

“It’s not unreasonable to ask your employer to make sure you’re not worse off for three years in a row.”

Tuesday, 12th July 2022, 10:17 am

Northampton rail passengers will be among those hit hard if more train strikes go ahead this summer.

Nine out of ten drivers at West Midlands Trains — which operates London Northwestern Railway — overwhelmingly backed a call to walkout in a row over pay.

ASLEF union members from eight of the UK’s 18 train companies voted in favour of industrial action.

Passengers at Northampton face more misery if ASLEF train drivers strike this summer

No dates have been set and the union would need to give 14 days notice of calling a strike.

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 but we’ve been forced into this position by the companies driven by the 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.

“With inflation running at north of 10 percent, that means those drivers have had a real terms pay cut over the last three years. We want an increase in line with the cost of living to be able to buy, in 2022, what we could buy in 2021.

“It’s not unreasonable to ask your employer to make sure you’re not worse off for three years in a row.

"Especially as the train companies are doing very nicely, thank you, out of Britain’s railways with handsome profits, dividends for shareholders, and big salaries for managers.”

Drivers at Chiltern, LNER, Northern, TransPennine Express, Arriva Rail London, Great Western and Southeastern also voted in favour of strikes. Ballots close on July 27 for drivers on Avanti West Coast services from Milton Keynes and Rugby voting on joining industrial action.

London Northwestern Railway runs services between London, Northampton, Birmingham and the North West.

News on Monday (July 11) follows a vote supporting industrial action short of a strike by 269 managers and station staff who are members of the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association at West Midlands Trains.

Talks between the RMT and rail companies are set to resume this week in a bid to avert more action.

Read More

Read More
Train strikes: why are train drivers striking - when will strikes take place and...

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “It is very disappointing that, rather than commit to serious dialogue with the industry, ASLEF are first seeking to cause further misery to passengers by joining others in disrupting the rail network.

“The train drivers they represent earn, on average, just under £60,000 per year – more than twice the UK median salary and significantly more than the very workers who will be most impacted by these strikes.

“Our railway is in desperate need of modernisation to make it work better for passengers and be financially sustainable for the long term. We urge the union bosses to reconsider and work with its employers, not against them, to agree a new way forward.”