Railway strikes set to hit London and the East in October
- Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA
Train drivers are set to stage a strike in October after their September action was suspended.
Aslef union members at 12 railway firms have voted to walk out on Saturday, October 1 and Wednesday, October 5 amid a dispute over the gap between increases in pay and the cost of living.
An Aslef spokesperson confirmed no statement will be made on the October strikes until after the Queen's state funeral - due to take place in Westminster Abbey on Monday, September 19.
The London and East of England rail firms affected by the drivers' strike will be:
- Avanti West Coast
- Chiltern Railways
- Greater Anglia
- Great Western Railway
- Hull Trains
- London Overground
- West Midlands Trains (including London Northwestern Railway)
Northern and TransPennine Express trains elsewhere in the country are also set to be affected.
Although no statement has been made about the October strike action, Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan outlined the reasons behind the initial, suspended September strike.
Mr Whelan said: "We don’t want to go on strike – withdrawing our labour, although a fundamental human right, is always a last resort for a trade union – but the train companies have forced our hand.
"They want train drivers to take a real terms pay cut – to work just as hard this year as last, but for 10 per cent less.
"Because inflation is now in double figures and heading higher – much higher, according to some forecasts – and yet the train companies have offered us nothing.
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"And this for train drivers who kept Britain moving – key workers and goods around the country – throughout the pandemic and who have not had an increase in salary since 2019."
An Aslef statement following the death of Queen Elizabeth II read: "In the light of the sad news of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Aslef has decided to postpone its industrial action on Thursday, September 15.
"We express our deepest condolences to her family, her friends, and the country."
The October strike action follows consumer price index inflation around the 10 per cent mark.
The cost of an average "basket" of goods and services rose by around 10.1pc in July, according to the Office for National Statistics.
This rate of inflation fell to 9.9pc in the 12 months to August 2022.
Transport workers across the sector have called for pay increases which align with the rate of inflation.
RMT members had planned strike action for Thursday, September 15 and Saturday, September 17 - the latest in a series of walkouts which began in June amid a dispute over workers' pay and job security.
This was suspended following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The TSSA union was set to carry out industrial action between midday on September 26 and September 27 on railways and at stations.
This has been cancelled.
Aslef's October strike is set to affect passengers travelling to major events throughout the county.
Among the affected events could be the Conservative Party Conference due to take place in Birmingham between Sunday, October 2 and the Aslef strike day on Wednesday, October 5.
A bumper day of Premier League, Championship and League One men's football is set for Saturday, October 1.
London fixtures include Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur, Crystal Palace vs Chelsea, Fulham vs Newcastle United and West Ham vs Wolverhampton Wanderers.
In the Championship, Norwich City take on Blackpool at Bloomfield Road in Lancashire.
Among the League One fixtures, Cambridge United host Derby County in Cambridge, Ipswich Town play Portsmouth at Portman Road, and MK Dons host Peterborough United in Milton Keynes.
On Wednesday, October 5, Watford are set to host Swansea City at Vicarage Road.