UK rail users are set for a further three days of strike disruption next month, with the RMT and Aslef unions announcing industrial action in ongoing disputes over pay and working conditions.
Planned strikes on September 15 and 17 were suspended out of respect for the death of Queen Elizabeth II, but a new wave of industrial action has now been confirmed.
Members of railway workers union the RMT and train drivers union Aslef will both walk out for 24 hours on Saturday October 1. The RMT industrial action will affect Network Rail and 14 train operating companies (TOCs), while the Aslef strike will involve drivers at 12 TOCs.
Separate strikes involving RMT members at Arriva Rail London, Hull Trains and bus workers at First Group Southwest will also take place on October 1.
This will be followed by a further 24 hours of industrial action involving Aslef members at 13 TOCs on October 5, and walkouts by RMT members at Network Rail and 15 TOCs on October 8.
The move follows previous industrial action across the rail network by the RMT and Aslef unions this summer, as well as tube, bus and tram strikes.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said that while it was encouraging that the new Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP had met with the union, “no new offer has been tabled”, meaning that “our members have no choice but to continue this strike action”.
“We will continue to negotiate in good faith, but the employers and government need to understand our industrial campaign will continue for as long as it takes,” Lynch added.
Meanwhile Mick Whelan, Aslef’s general secretary, commented:
“We would much rather not be in this position. We don’t want to go on strike – withdrawing our labour, although a fundamental human right, is always a last resort for this trade union – but the train companies have been determined to force our hand.”