“Senior managers in our industry take home huge salaries; rail operators have paid dividends to their shareholders right through the pandemic… the claim that there’s no money left to pay rail workers properly is just not true.”
Train drivers agree that every working person should be paid fairly and that pay should be increased to keep pace with inflation – many public sector workers deserve far more than their long-frozen pay amounts to.
Senior managers in our industry take home huge salaries; rail operators have paid dividends to their shareholders right through the pandemic, and the rolling stock companies (who own the trains and lease them back out) have made billions. The claim that there’s no money left to pay rail workers properly is just not true.
During the pandemic, train drivers went out to work to keep the country moving. Rail helped other key workers get to work, and kept goods like food and medicines moving around the country.
We have been negotiating with employers – the train operating companies – for many months on pay. On several companies we have managed to come to an agreement, and on several others, multi-year deals have been honoured.
Unfortunately a number of companies still have their hands tied by the Department for Transport and aren’t able to negotiate a reasonable deal with ASLEF members. We are still prepared to negotiate in good faith but, unfortunately, as we have been unable to come to an agreement, we have had to consider industrial action.
Train drivers at companies LNER, London Overground, Great Western, West Midlands Railways and Southeastern were balloted and results of the vote came in on Monday 11th July. An overwhelming majority of drivers voted for strike action. Drivers at Croydon Tramlink, Hull Trains and Greater Anglia voted for strike action in an earlier ballot. On Thursday 25th August, new ballot results came in with ASLEF members at Northern, Transpennine express and Chiltern Railways also voting for strike action.
To date, drivers at 14 companies have voted for strike action: Avanti West Coast, Chiltern, Cross Country, East Midlands Railway, Greater Anglia, Great Western Railways, Hull, LNER, London Overground, Northern, Southeastern, Transpennine Express, West Midlands Trains and Croydon Tramlink.
Strike Date Saturday 26 November
Drivers at Avanti West Coast; Chiltern Railways; CrossCountry; East Midlands Railway; Great Western Railway; Greater Anglia; London North Eastern Railway; Northern Trains; Southeastern; Transpennine Express, and West Midlands Trains will strike on Saturday 26 November.
- This article was originally published by Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF) on November 26th, 2022.
- You can sign to to updates from ASLEF here, grab yourself an “I’m backing Britain’s Train Drivers” badge here, and follow ASLEF on Facebook, twitter and Instagram.
The Real Story
- Government incompetence means the value of workers’ wages is falling
- Grant Shapps wants rail workers to pay the price for his incompetence on rail in England
- When inflation goes up but wages don’t, that’s a real-terms pay cut. Pay doesn’t go as far.
- Train drivers haven’t had a pay increase since 2019, we just don’t want a third successive pay cut
- Rail bosses still get huge salaries, and the leasing companies who own the trains and rent them back pocketed £3.0 billion from the industry in 2020-21
- Train drivers have given ‘productivity’ and modernisation over the years – the ‘modernisation’ Shapps wants is a return to Victorian conditions