UK Train Strikes in March 2024: Disruption, Demands and Losses!

As train drivers protest against pay not increased over the last five years, RMT prepares overground strikes on March 4-5. These strikes will affect several companies. After RMT members turned down a pay offer that was less than inflation, security, station, revenue, and control employees staged a 48-hour walkout.

UK Train Strikes in March 2024 

The railroads are currently experiencing the most recent bout of labor unrest. An overtime prohibition has been enforced at LNER and Northern on Thursday, February 29, and Saturday, March 2, through the members of the Aslef train drivers’ integration. 

Passengers are being advised by Northern to “expect delay.” Numerous LNER trains are canceled or shortened “in response to worker action” on the East Coast main line.

Train drivers struck both operators of trains on Friday, March 1, causing all Northern trains and the majority of LNER services to be canceled.

When are the train strikes?

Employees of the Aslef Union who work for the two train companies, LNER and Northern, are scheduled to go on a 24-hour walkout starting at nightfall on Friday, March 1. The majority of the LNER route will only have a curtailed service, and there won’t be any Northern trains, travelers have been informed.

It occurs at a time when Aslef’s colleagues have already begun to forbid working extra. This prohibition is in effect as of Saturday, March 2, and it started at night on February 29.

More than 300 employees are scheduled to go on strike for 20 hours starting at night on Monday, March 4, in the direction of the London Overground.

Which railway companies are those that are involved in strikes?

Aslef is at odds with the train companies that the government has hired to deliver rail services. They are as follows:

Between-city providers: 

  • TransPennine Express
  • Avanti West Coast
  • Cross-Country
  • East Midlands Railway
  • GWR, or Great Western Railway
  • LNER

Telecommunication operators in Southeast England: 

  • Greater Anglia
  • GTR: Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern, and Gatwick Express
  • Southeastern
  • South Western Railway which includes the Isle of Wight’s Island Line
  • C2C

Operators concentrating on England’s north and Midlands: 

  • Trains in the North
  • London Northwestern Railway is a part of the West Midlands Railway.
  • Chiltern Railways

What is the purpose of the strike?

The contentious legal decision made by the government regarding required service levels during strikes is being opposed by the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union. 

The RMT demands an increase that reflects its members’ contribution to the corporation because it is incensed that those who belong have received salary proposals that are less than inflation. To protest a salary raise that is less than inflation, the Aslef union is going on strike. 

The drivers of these firms are no longer ready for this kind of treatment, hence the RMT is requesting that they cease violating agreements and act in a right and moral manner. It has been almost two years since the “violating of contracts” issue with LNER began.

Will the country’s train strikes continue?

In a disagreement over working conditions and compensation with 16 train-carrying firms, Aslef train drivers plan to go on strike for six months. The union is considering strikes until a settlement is reached and has active authorization for industrial action till August. 

Additionally, a one-day strike and a three-day prohibition on overtime are planned by train drivers on the Northern and LNER lines. The Rail, Maritime, and Transport (RMT) union has agreed to a settlement that would see industrial action put on hold until April 2024 as compensation for a pay offer that is retroactive.

Are the strikes and Aslef getting close to an agreement?

The general secretary of Aslef, Mick Whelan, has written off the possibility of reaching an agreement with Transport Secretary Mark Harper, calling the 4 percent wage raise that was extended to supporters in April of last year “nonsense.” 

Whelan contends that if drivers believed that the deal was good, they would not support industrial action. They are requesting a meeting with Huw Merriman, the minister of rails or the secretary of state for transportation, to consider a revised offer. 

Whelan thinks that only if companies and the government have a conversation with them will they be able to resolve the conflict.

How much loss does the industry face due to strikes? 

The impact of recent strikes is expected to have added between £50 and £60 million to the losses incurred by the rail industry from June 2022 to the end of January 2024, when industrial action began.

According to UKHospitality, the lost revenue from travelers choosing other modes of transportation, companies moving, and individuals reducing their travel is estimated to be close to £5 billion.

Ongoing strikes damage businesses, hinder people from going to work, and substantially destroy trust in the rail network, said Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the organization.

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