Rail union boss warns not to ‘demonise’ train drivers as another day of strikes begins

Practice drivers stroll out once more at the moment because the Aslef union stage their second 24-hour strike this week. Drivers will strike as a part of the long-running pay dispute over pay and situations at 14 practice working firms, leaving passengers dealing with disruption round Britain.

A lot of the greatest operators have mentioned they are going to be unable to run any trains all through the day, with trains that do run as a result of begin later and end a lot sooner than normal — usually between 7.30 am and 6.30 pm. Saturday morning companies are additionally anticipated to be affected.

A spokesperson for the Rail Supply Group mentioned: “To minimise the impression of the Aslef motion, we advise passengers to examine earlier than they journey, permit additional time and discover out when their first and final practice will depart.”

It follows the current rejection of a pay provide which might have seen drivers given an 8% pay rise over two years, taking common salaries up from practically £60,000 a 12 months, to virtually £65,000.


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Simon Weller, assistant basic secretary of Aslef, mentioned the dispute was going “backwards” due to the dearth of progress in months of talks.

“I don’t know whether or not to level the finger of blame on the ineptitude of the Division for Transport or the Rail Supply Group”.

When it was recommended to Mick Whelan, the Aslef basic secretary, that the hanging practice drivers may lose the help and sympathy of people that earn considerably much less as strikes proceed to trigger chaos, he argued that practice drivers are the victims of “demonisation”.

He informed ITV‘s “Good Morning Britain programme”: “I fear at the beginning concerning the folks I symbolize and the thought of the politics of envy and the demonisation of practice drivers and different expert staff has been happening now for over a 12 months.

“It isn’t about what we earn, it’s about what different folks don’t earn. I need each nurse within the nation, all people within the fireplace brigade, all people within the public sector, each trainer to have what now we have”.

With talks with practice operators on pay and situation set to renew on Tuesday, Mr Whelan mentioned he’s “hopeful” of progress being made.

He mentioned: “We’re again in talks on Tuesday and we at all times go in hopeful. Sadly, a number of the actions by the employers and the Authorities in current weeks have set the talks again.

“However we return there with open eyes, hoping to discover a decision. We don’t need to be right here, my folks don’t need to be on picket strains, they don’t need folks dropping cash, they need to be doing their day job.

“However sooner or later… somebody has bought to compromise with us.”

At the moment, no additional strikes are scheduled by any rail union previous this Friday, though Aslef warned that extra dates may very well be introduced, saying this week that negotiations within the pay dispute had “gone backwards”.

Right now’s walkout is the second strike by practice drivers this week, after they took half within the large day of commercial motion on Wednesday.

Different professions who walked out included academics, college workers, civil servants, bus drivers and safety guards.

It noticed round 85% per cent of the 23,000 state colleges in England and Wales totally or partly closed.