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East Midlands Railway joins Aslef strike by 12 other rail firms next month

Image of an East Midlands Railway (EMR) train.  EMR drivers voted earlier this week to take industrial action on October 5

East Midlands Railway has joined Aslef strikes by 12 other rail companies next month which threatens to wreak havoc on those attending the London Marathon and Tory party conference.

The union has announced that members of 12 rail operating companies will step down on October 1 and 5 due to a long-running wage dispute.

Today he added that drivers at East Midlands Railway will also strike on October 5 after its members voted for industrial action earlier this week.

Image of an East Midlands Railway (EMR) train.  EMR drivers voted earlier this week to take industrial action on October 5

Image of an East Midlands Railway (EMR) train. EMR drivers voted earlier this week to take industrial action on October 5

The latest strike announcement threatens to disrupt travel for delegates and visitors to the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, which runs from October 2-5.

Which train operators will be affected by the strikes and when?

October 1st

Avanti West Coast, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, Greater Anglia, Great Western Railway, Hull Trains, LNER, London Overground, Northern Trains, Southeastern, TransPennine Express and West Midlands Trains

October 5

Avanti West Coast, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Greater Anglia, Great Western Railway, Hull Trains, LNER, London Overground, Northern Trains, Southeastern, TransPennine Express and West Midlands Trains

Meanwhile, a 24-hour strike on October 1 means services are likely to be affected the following day, the day of the London Marathon, which will see 80,000 runners take part and raise millions for charity.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union has also announced a strike for October 1 among its members at Network Rail and 14 rail companies.

Mick Whelan, general secretary of Aslef, said: “We don’t want to go on strike – taking your job out, although it is a fundamental human right, is always a last resort for this union – but the rail companies are determined to force our hand.

“They tell train drivers to take a real pay cut. With inflation currently at 12.3% – and expected to rise further – these companies say drivers should be prepared to work just as hard, just as long, but for much less.

“The companies we are in dispute with have not offered us a penny. It is outrageous that they expect us to take a pay cut on real terms for the third year in a row.

Aslef members in 12 companies – Avanti West Coast; Chiltern Railways; Cross country; Greater Anglia; Great Western Railway; hull landing gear; LNER; London Overground; Northern Trains; South East; Trans Pennine Express; and West Midlands Trains – will strike on October 1 and 5.

East Midlands Railway conductors will go out on October 5th.

Image of an East Midlands Railway (EMR) train.  EMR drivers voted earlier this week to take industrial action on October 5

Image of an East Midlands Railway (EMR) train. EMR drivers voted earlier this week to take industrial action on October 5

Aslef general secretary Mike Whelan pictured on a picket line at Kings Cross during industrial action on August 13

Aslef general secretary Mike Whelan pictured on a picket line at Kings Cross during industrial action on August 13

Aslef said it had reached wage deals with 11 rail and freight companies this year, including Eurostar, GB Railfreight, Merseyrail, MTR Elizabeth line and ScotRail.

A Rail Delivery Group spokesman said: ‘These strikes will once again be a huge hindrance to the very passengers the industry needs to support its recovery from the continued impact of the pandemic.

‘They range from those left out because they can’t get to work, to people who miss vital appointments and to the thousands of London Marathon runners, who, after months of training, will see their trip to London interrupted at the weekend.

“Strikes are not in the long-term interests of railway workers or in building a sustainable rail industry. We want to give our people a raise, but without the reforms we are proposing, we simply cannot offer raises.

“Revenues are still around 80% of pre-pandemic levels; no business can survive this magnitude of disruption without implementing change.

A member of the Aslef union taking industrial action on a picket line in London on August 13

A member of the Aslef union taking industrial action on a picket line in London on August 13

“The actions of union leaders have very real consequences: every day of the strike takes more money out of the pockets of their members.

“We want to see the industry and its employees prosper – we are calling on union leaders to do the right thing, call off these damaging strikes and work with us to make it happen.”

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association has announced that it will vote hundreds of its members at Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) on possible industrial action, including strikes.

The union represents workers, including platform and ticket office staff, train crew, engineers and management.

General Secretary Manuel Cortes said: “This is a clear signal to GTR that our members are not willing to be pushed around in the face of a growing Tory cost of living crisis and a government that wants to cut jobs in the railroads.

“I want to encourage our members to vote yes to both strike action and non-strike action because we know we are fighting for the future of our railways.

“We have already seen a solid set of voting results elsewhere in the rail companies our union represents and we are ready to resume the strike in the weeks to come.

“Ministers and GTR bosses would do well to get real and address our concerns now, so that further disruption does not take place.

“Otherwise there is likely to be crippling action on one of the main rail networks to and from London and beyond in the near future.”

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