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HomeBusinessTrain strikes: What days in December will rail travel be disrupted?

Train strikes: What days in December will rail travel be disrupted?

Commuters at Waterloo StationImage source, EPA

Train drivers will go on strike again in the long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

Both the train drivers’ union Aslef and the RMT union, which represents other rail workers, have regularly taken industrial action over the past 18 months.

When are the train strikes in December?

Aslef members will stage a “rolling programme” of walk outs between Saturday 2 December and Friday 8 December with different train companies affected on each day.

Drivers will also refuse to work any overtime from Friday 1 to Saturday 9 December as part of the industrial action.

Many of the affected operators are expected to run no services at all on strike days.

Travelling on the day before or after strike days might also be affected.

On overtime ban days, there are likely to be some last-minute cancellations or timetable reductions.

Passengers are advised to check before they travel.

Which train company will be affected on what day?

  • Saturday 2 December at East Midlands Railway and LNER
  • Sunday 3 December at Avanti West Coast, Chiltern, Great Northern Thameslink, and West Midlands Trains
  • Tuesday 5 December at C2C and Greater Anglia
  • Wednesday 6 December at Southeastern, Southern/Gatwick Express, SWR main line, SWR depot drivers, and Island Line
  • Thursday 7 December at CrossCountry and GWR
  • Friday 8 December at Northern and TPT

For the latest information, passengers should check National Rail or individual operators’ websites.

Are there still strikes on the Tube?

Strike action by thousands of RMT members who work in Tube stations the action was suspendedfollowing “significant progress” in talks between the union and London Underground.

Rail workers in the RMT union are voting on whether to accept a deal in their dispute over pay, job security and working conditions.

That vote closes on 30 November, the day before Aslef’s new industrial action begins.

Can I get my money back for strike days?

Passengers with advance tickets can be refunded fee-free if the train that they are booked on is cancelled, delayed or rescheduled.  

If passengers have a return ticket they may also be entitled to a fee-free refund if any part of the journey is cancelled due to strikes.

Season ticket holders (flexi, monthly or longer) who cannot travel can claim 100% compensation for strike dates through the Delay Repay scheme.

Why are rail workers striking?

Unions say they want a pay offer reflecting the rising cost of living.

But the rail industry is under pressure to save money, after the pandemic left a hole in its finances.

The industry says changes to ways of working need to be agreed in order for pay to go up.

How much are rail workers paid?

The average salary of rail workers in 2022 was £45,919, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

If drivers are excluded (because they tend to be members of the Aslef union, not RMT) its estimate is £39,518. However, the RMT union said that figure was too high because it does not include rail cleaning staff.

The ONS says median pay for “train and tram drivers” is just under £59,000.

What deal have rail workers been offered?

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents train companies, made an offer that would have seen rail workers receive a backdated pay rise of 5% for 2022. It would then negotiate reforms ahead of a second year’s pay rise with individual operators.

On 5 May, RMT members voted to extend the strike mandate for another six months.

The Aslef union rejected a two-year offer which would see drivers get a backdated pay rise of 4% for 2022 and a 4% increase this year.

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan has said it had been forced into taking industrial action because the train companies “refuse to sit down and talk to us and have not made a fair and sensible pay offer”.

A Department for Transport has said: “The government has met the rail unions, listened to them and facilitated improved offers on pay and reform.”

Separately, a revised offer from Network Rail was accepted by RMT members on 20 March, ending a dispute with signal workers and maintenance staff.

The union said the offer amounted to an uplift on salaries of between 14.4% for the lowest paid grades to 9.2% for the highest paid.

How much notice do unions have to give before going on strike?

Unions are obliged to give at least 14 days’ notice of any strike action.

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