Train drivers have voted overwhelmingly to strike over pay, increasing the threat of major disruption to rail services this summer.

Members of the Aslef train drivers’ union in eight railway companies supported the protest campaigns.

Aslef members at Chiltern, LNER, Northern, TransPennine Express, Arriva Rail London, Great Western, Southeastern and West Midlands Trains voted by around 9-1 in favor of strike action with a turnout of over 80 per cent.

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said strikes were a “last resort” but said his union wanted pay rises “in line with the cost of living”.

It comes after Aslef members accepted an improved 5 per cent offer from ScotRail on Monday.

The union has announced that its members have accepted offers on pay and conditions from the newly nationalized rail operator.

The new strike comes as a surprise given that the average salary for a driver is £59,000, rising to £71,000 for drivers on LNER East Coast trains. The average salary in the UK is £25,971.

It comes after the country’s rail network ground to a halt last month when members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union went on strike.

The RMT, led by a fired-up Mick Lynch, have threatened to hold more walkouts later in the summer.

RMT members have staged three strikes over pay which have paralyzed services.

Train drivers have voted overwhelmingly to strike over pay, increasing the threat of major disruption to rail services this summer. Members of the Aslef train drivers’ union in eight railway companies supported the protest campaigns

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said the strikes were

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said strikes were a “last resort” but said his union wanted pay rises “in line with the cost of living”.

Speaking about the strikes, Mr Whelan said: “Strikes are always a last resort. We don’t want to inconvenience passengers – our friends and families use public transport too – and we don’t want to lose money by going on strike, but we’ve been forced into this position by government-run companies.

“Many of our members – the men and women who moved key workers and goods around the country during the pandemic – have not received a pay rise since 2019.

“Given that inflation is 10 percent, that means these drivers have had their pay cut over the last three years.

“We want an increase in line with the cost of living – we want to be able to buy in 2022 what we could buy in 2021.

It comes after Aslef members accepted ScotRail's pay rise offer on Monday

It comes after Aslef members accepted ScotRail’s pay rise offer on Monday

“It’s completely unreasonable to ask your employer to make sure you’re not worse off for three years in a row.

The results of the strike in eight railway companies, whose drivers voted in favor of action

Arriva Rail London:

Yes: 637 [98.9 per cent]

None: 7 [1.1 per cent]

Turnout: 92.5 percent

Chiltern Railways:

Yes: 217 [92.3 per cent]

No: 18 [7.7 per cent]

Turnout: 86.4 percent

The Great Western:

Yes: 1049 [86.1 per cent]

No.: 170 [13.9 per cent]

Turnout: 86.3 percent

LNER:

Yes: 323 [88.5 per cent]

No.: 42 [11.5 per cent]

Turnout: 89.0 percent

Northern trains:

Yes: 1562 [95.2 per cent]

No.: 78 [4.8 per cent]

Turnout: 88.5 percent

Southeast:

Yes: 741 [91.6 per cent]

No.: 68 [8.4 per cent]

Turnout: 86.2 percent

TransPennine Express:

Yes: 426 [94.2 per cent]

No: 26 [5.8 per cent]

Turnout: 84.8 percent

West Midlands Trains:

Yes: 636 [89.6 per cent]

No.: 74 [10.4 per cent]

Turnout: 83.5 percent

“Thank you in light of the fact that rail companies on British Rail are doing very well, with big profits, dividends for shareholders and big salaries for managers.”

My members have refused to work overtime or take time off as part of a pay dispute.

It led to hundreds of services being cut from timetables on May 23, with Transport Minister Jenny Gilroot saying it would provide more certainty.

Aslef Scottish organizer Kevin Lindsay said: “Following a vote on the improved offer agreed with ScotRail, Aslef members have voted to accept the pay and conditions proposals.

“Aslef is a democratic, member-led lay union and I want to thank our members for their participation and response to the vote.”

In June, after negotiations with the union, ScotRail offered drivers a 5 per cent pay rise.

Schedule cuts have affected a number of major events across Scotland, including Scotland’s qualifier against Ukraine at Hampden Park and the TRNSMT festival in Glasgow.

As well as the 5 per cent pay rise, drivers will also get more day off and Sunday pay, driving instructor and maternity pay along with a no compulsory redundancies policy for the next five years.

Aslef has members from Arriva Rail London; Chiltern; Croydon tramway; Greater England; Great Western; Hull Trains; LNER; Northern trains; ScotRail; South-eastern; TransPennine Express; and West Midlands Trains.

Commenting on ASLEF joining the national rail dispute, RMT General Secretary Mr Lynch said: “We congratulate our friends at ASLEF on their excellent vote and the great mandate they have for rail strikes.

“It shows that rail workers of all grades, from cleaners, catering guards, maintenance staff and drivers, are fed up with real pay cuts, attacks on job security and working conditions.

“When railroad unions and others band together, they are an unstoppable force in the workplace and in society at large.

“Grant Shapps needs to stop tinkering with his doomed bid for the Tory leadership and get back to focusing on resolving this row.

“He continues to prevent both Network Rail and the rail companies from doing a deal with the RMT, something we have done repeatedly and successfully since privatization in 1993.

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT), welcomed the strike called by Aslef.

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT), welcomed the strike called by Aslef.

“Mr Shapps should either walk away from the negotiating table or get out of the way because he is the main obstacle to a negotiated settlement at the moment.”

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “It is very disappointing that instead of engaging in serious dialogue with the industry, Aslef is now seeking to cause further suffering for passengers by joining others in disrupting the rail network.

“The drivers they represent earn on average just under £60,000 a year – more than double the UK average wage and far more than the very workers who will be most affected by these strikes.

“Our railway is in desperate need of modernization so that it works better for passengers and is financially sustainable in the long term. We call on union bosses to reconsider and work with employers, not against them, to agree a new way forward.”

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