As rail strike enters second day, Aslef's boss warns 'it will be a long time'

As rail strike enters second day, Aslef's boss warns 'it will be a long time'

As the rail strike continues across England, the boss of the union has warned: 'It will be a long time before we see this'.

Aslef and the larger RMT are involved in parallel disputes on pay, jobs and working arrangements with the train operating companies that are paid by the government to run services.

Mick Whelan, the Aslef general secretary, said: This is a political dispute caused by the government. If the dispute had been an industrial dispute between employers and the unions, I think it would have been resolved by now.

We don't have a problem with freight in Scotland, we don't have a problem with open access, we don't have a problem with all the other train operators we deal with. We have implemented 14 pay deals in just 12 months, the company said in a statement.

Today marks the 12th strike day by members of Aslef since national rail walk-outs began in the summer of 2022. On Saturday, train drivers will withdraw non-contractual overtime at the same time as up to 20,000 members of the RMT will stop work in their latest national strike.

The Rail Delivery Group, representing train operators, said: The further strike action by the Aslef leadership is unnecessary and will cause more disruption to passengers looking to enjoy various sporting events and the end of the summer holidays.

The union leadership is in the sand, and refuses to put our fair and reasonable offer to our members. The offer would raise the average driver base salary for a four-day week without overtime to almost £65,000 by the end of 2023.

This is going to go on until the government gives us a solution, he said.

The public is assuming that the fares have gone up to pay our wages. There has never been a pay rise in our industry for five years, he said.

Most train operators hit by the strike have cancelled all trains on Friday. There are a few train operators - notably Southern, GWR, LNER and Greater Anglia - running a skeleton service during limited periods, mainly on links to and from London.

The London Overground network, the Elizabeth Line and the London Underground are all running normal trains. The only connection running at Euston station in the capital is the London Overground to and from Watford Junction in Hertfordshire.

What trains are running across the two rail strike days?