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01 Dec 2023 | 13:12

ASLEF members vote to continue train strikes

(Sharecast News) - The ASLEF train drivers' trade union has voted to continue strikes ahead of planned industrial action next week, saying that members are "in this for the long haul". In its ongoing national dispute over pay, ASLEF is continuing with its week-long overtime ban starting Saturday, after union members from 12 train operators were reballoted and voted overwhelmingly in favour of further strikes for the next six months.

"Under the Tories' anti-union legislation, a mandate for industrial action only lasts six months. That's why we have had to reballot," ASLEF explained in a statement.

The news comes just a day after the RMT union agreed a pay deal with the Rail Delivery Group to backdate payrises for its members as well as new conditions over job guarantees, meaning that there wouldn't be any RMT strikes for at least six months.

ASLEF is now the only one of the four unions involved in recent industrial disputes to have not reached a settlement.

The union's general secretary Mick Whelan said: "We are in this for the long haul. Our members - who have not had a pay rise for nearly five years now - are determined that the train companies - and the Tory government that stands behind them - do the right thing."

He said drivers are "fed up and frustrated" that their employers have failed to reach a "fair a decent deal".

"The cost of living has soared since the spring and summer of 2019, when these pay deals ran out. The bosses at the train companies - as well as Tory MPs and government ministers - have had increases in pay. It's unrealistic - and unfair - to expect our members to work just as hard for what, in real terms, is considerably less."

In a statement on Thursday, the Rail Delivery Group called on ASLEF to resolve the dispute "for the long-term good of everyone who works in rail and the millions of businesses and passengers who rely on it every day".
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