Train strikes: Full list of December 2023 dates and rail lines affected

Business

ASLEF’s train drivers are to stage a number of strikes and overtime bans next month in their long-running dispute over pay.

Union members at 16 train operating companies in England will walk out on different days between 2 and 8 December.

Additionally, all members will refuse to work any overtime from 1 December to 9 December.

The union said it had previously called all its members out on strike on the same day but by spreading the action, the ramifications for the rail industry will be “greater”.

Here is a full list of the services affected by strikes and when.

Saturday 2 December

East Midlands Railway

London North Eastern Railway

Sunday 3 December

Avanti West Coast

Chiltern

Great Northern Thameslink

West Midlands Trains

Tuesday 5 December

C2C

Greater Anglia

Wednesday 6 December

Southeastern

Southern/Gatwick Express

South Western Railway (main line and depot)

Island Line

Thursday 7 December

CrossCountry

Great Western Railway

Friday 8 December

Northern

TPT

How do strikes and overtime bans affect services?

Strikes tend to mean all services on lines where members are participating are cancelled, whereas overtime bans often lead to reduced services.

This means that even if there isn’t a full strike on a service you plan to use between 1-9 December, the overtime ban could still affect your journey.

How can I stay in the loop?

You can use the National Rail’s journey planner to see when trains are running.

Be sure to check it close to when you plan to travel, as it will be updated between now and December.

Why are the strikes still happening?

ASLEF rejected a two-year offer of 4% in 2022 and another 4% this year, saying it is way below inflation, and is linked to changes in terms and conditions.

The union has already agreed wage rises with 14 companies in the past year, including freight operators, Eurostar and passenger operators in Scotland and Wales, so its only ongoing dispute is with English train companies.

It announced this strike action shortly after the RMT union, whose members operate London Underground, confirmed it had reached a deal with train companies that could bring their strikes to an end.

What has been said about the strikes?

ASLEF says the new walkouts will “ratchet up the pressure” on train companies and the government to give train drivers their first pay rise in more than four years.

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan on a picket line at Euston station in London
Image:
ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan on a picket line at Euston station

The union’s general secretary Mick Whelan said: “We are determined to win this dispute and get a significant pay rise for train drivers who have not had an increase since 2019, while the cost of living, in that time, has soared.

“The transport secretary, who has gone missing in action during this dispute, says we should put the offer to our members.

“What the minister apparently fails to understand is that, since the Rail Delivery Group’s (RDG) risible offer in April, we have received overwhelming mandates, on enormous turnouts, for more industrial action.

“We will continue to take industrial action until the train companies – and/or the government – sits down and negotiates with us in good faith.”

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents train companies, said the latest offer was “fair and affordable” and would take average driver salaries from £60,000 to nearly £65,000.

‘A perfectly fair and reasonable offer’

ASLEF has been criticised by the government and train operators for not putting the latest pay offer to its members for a vote.

In his most recent comments about the dispute with ASLEF, Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “There is, most people think, a perfectly fair and reasonable offer on the table and I genuinely don’t understand why ASLEF won’t put it to their members.

“It would take the average pay of a train driver from £60,000 for a 35-hour four-day week to just under £65,000 for the same working week.

“Now I think most people will think that’s quite reasonable.

“But the most important thing is, it’s on the table, and I hope ASLEF put it to their members.”

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