Train passengers warned to check ahead as fresh strikes cause chaos

Train strikes

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Before a series of strikes that will cause a lot of travel disruptions, the train operators are going to start an overtime prohibition.

Aslef members are currently involved in a job-related conflict for the past 20 months, but with no progress in sight and no scheduled discussions.

Travelers are encouraged to double-check their plans beforehand, as certain regions may have no functioning services during days of strikes.

Starting from Thursday until Saturday and for a total of 48 hours starting next Monday, there will be an overtime prohibition which may lead to service disruptions and the cancellation of some services.

Many trains will be affected by a strike on Friday, including those operated by Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, West Midlands, and London Northwestern.

Train operators such as Chiltern Railways, Great Western Railway, LNER, Heathrow Express, Northern and TransPennine Express are going to experience a strike by train drivers on Saturday.

There's going to be a protest on Monday that will have an impact on various train services including c2c, Gatwick Express, Greater Anglia (including Stansted Express), Great Northern, Southeastern, Southern, South Western Railway (including the Island Line), and Thameslink.

The train companies cautioned that during days of strike, there is a high possibility that minimal or zero transportation will be available in vast regions of the network run by the train companies that are impacted.

After a complete day of a strike, services may also encounter interference and begin later than usual the following day.

When there is a ban on overtime, train companies may change their schedules beforehand or there may be unexpected delays or cancellations on the day of travel.

Aslef members are currently involved in a conflict over employment that has been ongoing for 20 months, with no indication of a resolution.

Travelers should anticipate major disturbances and are recommended to pre-plan and confirm their itinerary prior to departure.

There is currently a new legislation established to make certain that a basic level of service is maintained during railroad strikes, but none of the companies that are participating in the Aslef conflict have made a request to utilize it.

The head of Aslef, Mick Whelan, mentioned that his organization asked for discussions following the declaration of another requirement for strikes. He emphasized that train operators haven't received a pay rise since 2019.

He stated that the majority of their members have voted in favor of going on strike, once again. This vote clearly indicates that the train drivers do not accept the absurd proposal from the Rail Delivery Group, which was presented in April last year. The group knew that the terms and conditions negotiated over the years would never be accepted by their members, and it was a mere attempt to acquire everything.

Train drivers have consistently voted to take action in their efforts to obtain a salary increase. Hence, the statement made by Transport Secretary Mark Harper regarding members not being informed of the offer is misleading.

If the drivers believed that the deal was satisfactory, they would not have repeatedly resorted to strikes. However, the proposal was deemed inadequate as of April last year, and Mr. Harper is aware of this fact.

We requested a meeting with either Mr Harper or his deputy, the railway minister Huw Merriman. We also invited the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) and train operators (TOCs) to join us for a conversation.

We haven't received any updates from Mr Harper, Mr Merriman, the RDG, or the TOCs ever since those fresh directions were made public a few weeks ago. To add to this, Mr Harper has not been in contact with us since December of 2022. Similarly, Mr Merriman has not spoken to us since January of 2023. Also, the RDG has not deemed it necessary to attend any meetings with us since April of last year.

We have extended an invitation to the Government to engage in discussions, however it is evident that they are not interested in settling this disagreement. They seem content with the situation continuing indefinitely.

We won't quit. A lot of people among us have not gotten any salary hike for the past five years. Meanwhile, the inflation rate has gone up leading to an increase in the expenses for livelihood.

A representative from the RDG stated that they apologize for the potential inconvenience caused by the Aslef leadership's decision to call for another round of strikes.

Even though we are making every effort to maintain train operations and collaborating with our industry colleagues to ensure that as many trains as feasible stay in operation, regrettably, there will be fewer services from April 4th through April 9th. It is wise to verify current travel details and correspondingly make trip arrangements.

The legislation for Minimum Service Level is a beneficial technique for controlling the negative impact of a strike, but it is not a guaranteed solution that will solve all problems.

Operators always prioritize providing top-quality and dependable services for their passengers, especially during times of industrial action. This requires a thorough analysis of their own unique operational situation prior to determining the optimal course of action.

According to Kathryn O'Brien, who holds the position of Director of Customer Experience and Transformation at TransPennine Express, regrettably, the upcoming strike will once again lead to disturbance and disturbance of our services as well as other services in the country.

During the 20-month argument, Aslef conducted 14 strikes that lasted for a day each. The initial vote was held in June 2022 where members of the union took to the streets in protest on Saturday July 30 2022.

On April 8 and May 4, there will be strikes among Aslef members who work for the London Underground. This is due to a disagreement about their terms and conditions.

The industrial action will result in significant disturbance throughout the Tube system, and certain routes may not operate at all or have very limited service.

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