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"We have not had a wage increase since 2019, despite high inflation. It is time that companies, backed by the government perhaps, take the matter seriously," train drivers' union Secretary Whelan insisted.
On Tuesday, the ASLEF train drivers’ union announced a new strike for Feb. 1 and Feb. 3 after rejecting an offer by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) of a 4 percent wage increase for two years in a row in exchange for reforms on the way of running railways.
"The proposal was not and could not ever be acceptable. The RDG want to rip up our terms and conditions in return for a real-terms pay cut," ASLEF Secretary Mick Whelan condemned. Nevertheless, he stressed that his union is willing to engage in further discussions to solve the situation.
The RDG members argued that they were disappointed that a “fair and affordable offer” was not put to the union's members, whom they asked to recognize the financial challenges the industry currently faces.
"Our union's members have not had a wage increase since 2019, despite high inflation. It is time that companies, backed by the government perhaps, take the matter seriously," Whelan insisted.
About 12,500 train drivers from the ASLEF union will participate in the February strikes. The RMT union, which has over 80,000 members in various transport sectors, will also join the initiative.
Since the 2022 summer, railway employees have been striking regularly to seek better pay to cope with rising prices. Their last demonstration during the Christmas holidays severely impacted sales at some hospitality firms.
Britain currently faces a period of industrial unrest. Teachers and 100,000 other public sector workers, including border force staff, will also take to the streets on Feb. 1 to demand better wages.