UK train drivers to stage fresh strikes in late January, early February

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain’s train drivers will stage a fresh round of strikes in a long-running dispute over pay which will affect services across the country from Jan. 29-Feb. 6, the ASLEF trade union said on Monday.

Drivers working across 16 train companies will stage one-day strikes at different times with an overtime ban set to impact the whole nine day period, ASLEF said.

“We have given the government every opportunity to come to the table but it is now a year since we had any contact from the Department for Transport,” ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan said.

In response to the union’s members decision to walk-out, the Department for Transport (DfT) said it was very disappointing to see ASLEF “continuing to target” those who travel to work, school and medical appointments by train.

The current pay offer would bring the average salary for train drivers to 65,000 pounds, the DfT statement said.

“The ASLEF leadership should do the right thing and let their members decide,” a DfT spokesperson said.

Britons have faced severe travel disruption since 2022, as a cost-of-living crisis spurred demands by transport workers for higher pay.

The Rail Delivery Group, which represents Britain’s train operators, said despite the railway’s financial challenges the drivers had been offered a salary that was well above the national average.

(Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar and Farouq Suleiman; editing by Sarah Young)