Strike to hit Thameslink on bumper day for Premier League football

RMT trade union members are set to strike on October 1 affecting Thameslink trains in London and the East of England

RMT trade union members are set to strike on October 1 affecting Thameslink trains in London and the East of England, including trains through Blackfriars - Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA

Thameslink and Great Northern staff are set to strike in October.

The RMT union has announced strike action for October 1, and around 40,000 staff at Network Rail and 14 rail firms - including Govia Thameslink Railway - are expected to participate.

The strike will fall on Saturday, October 1, the day of the north London derby and another strike by train drivers who are Aslef trade union members.

Thameslink staff who are RMT members are set to strike on October 1

Thameslink staff who are RMT members are set to strike on October 1 - Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA

Arsenal play Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium on October 1

Arsenal play Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium on October 1. Staff at Great Northern, which runs trains through Finsbury Park and Highbury and Islington, are set to strike on that date - Credit: Mike Egerton/PA

Trade union organisers said the strike comes amid a dispute over job security, pay and working conditions - with the industrial action launched in June 2022.

Mick Lynch, RMT general secretary, said: "Transport workers are joining a wave of strike action on October 1, sending a clear message to the government and employers that working people will not accept continued attacks on pay and working conditions at a time when big business profits are at an all-time high.

"The 'Summer of Solidarity' we have seen will continue into the autumn and winter if employers and the government continue to refuse workers reasonable demands.

"We want a settlement to these disputes where our members and their families can get a square deal.

"And we will not rest until we get a satisfactory outcome."

The demand for a pay increase 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.

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Transport workers across the sector have called for pay increases which align with the rate of inflation.

In London and the East of England, the firms directly affected by strikes are:

  • Avanti West Coast
  • C2c
  • Chiltern Railways
  • CrossCountry
  • East Midlands Railway
  • Govia Thameslink Railway (Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink)
  • Greater Anglia - including Stansted Express
  • Great Western Railway
  • LNER
  • Southeastern
  • South Western Railway
  • West Midlands Trains and London Northwestern Railway

Elsewhere in the country, Northern and TransPennine Express staff are set to take part in the RMT industrial action.

With staff set to strike at Network Rail, which controls track and signals nationwide, most routes in Great Britain are set to be affected by the walkout, including trains run by firms where no strike is taking place.

Greater Anglia trains in north-east London and the East may be disrupted

Greater Anglia trains in north-east London and the East may be disrupted - Credit: Aaron Chown/PA

Great Northern staff will be among those on strike

Great Northern staff will be among those on strike - Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA

Greater Anglia staff who belong to the RMT trade union are set to strike on October 1, affecting the Stansted Express route

Greater Anglia staff who belong to the RMT trade union are set to strike on October 1, affecting the Stansted Express route - Credit: Greater Anglia

In a different negotiation, also being carried out by the RMT, staff at Arriva Rail London - which runs London Overground trains - are set to strike on the same date.

This second dispute is also set to affect Hull Trains and First Bus in Somerset and Cornwall, as well as Carlisle Support Services which looks after "revenue security" on the London Overground.

The separate Aslef strike on October 1 is set to affect 12 rail firms, all of which overlap with the RMT disputes. A second day of Aslef action is planned for October 5.

Along with RMT members, Aslef members will strike on October 1

Along with RMT members, Aslef members will strike on October 1 - Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

Trains through Finsbury Park, near the Emirates Stadium, are set for disruption on October 1

Trains through Finsbury Park, near the Emirates Stadium, are set for disruption on October 1 - Credit: Yui Mok/PA

There are several Premier League games set to take place on Saturday, October 1.

These are: Arsenal vs Spurs; Crystal Palace vs Chelsea; Fulham vs Newcastle; Liverpool vs Brighton; Southampton vs Everton; West Ham vs Wolves.

In the Championship, 20 football teams are due to face each other on October 1: Blackburn Rovers vs Millwall; Blackpool vs Norwich City; Bristol City vs Queens Park Rangers; Cardiff City vs Burnley; Coventry City vs Middlesbrough; Reading vs Huddersfield Town; Rotherham United vs Wigan Athletic; Sheffield United vs Birmingham City; Sunderland vs Preston North End; West Bromwich Albion vs Swansea City.

The walkouts could also affect the Conservative Party conference, which is due to begin in Birmingham on Sunday, October 2.

The conference is due to end on Wednesday, October 5 - the second Aslef strike day.