Heavy disruptions are expected across the UK over the next week, as several national rail strikes are planned form 4 to 10 November.
According to Independent, this is the longest and most damaging series of strikes the country has been through since the 1980’s. The actions started in June and have continued on a regular basis. Multiple train operators, contracted by the Department for Transport are involved, each facing individual disputes brought on by four unions: RMT, the main rail union, Aslef, representing train drivers, Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA), the union for white-collar staff in the transport industry, and Unite, representing some grades in some train operators.
On the one hand they were telling our negotiators that they were prepared to do a deal, while planning to torpedo negotiations by imposing unacceptable changes to our members terms and conditions.Mick Lynch, RMT general secretary
The recurring themes at the basis of the strikes are wages and working conditions.
The national rail strikes dates are 5, 7 and 9 November, with disruptions expected to fall into each following day and additional local actions planned on the 4th and 10th. Therefore, overall train traffic will be unreliable from 4 to 11 November.
In addition to the national dates, TSSA members have announced industrial action impacting London Northwestern Railway and West Midlands Railway on Friday 4 November. Services will only operate a very limited schedule on the Birmingham – Crewe – Liverpool (including local journeys between Birmingham – Wolverhampton) and Birmingham – Northampton – London Eustonroutes, between 07:30 and 19:30.
For Thursday, 10 November, the Tube will have an extra strike. There will be limited or no services running which is expected to also affect the London Overground, for which, despite the disruptions from the previous day of strikes, services are expected to be extremely busy and subject to last minute changes, including not stopping at some stations shared with London Underground. Trams will also operate a reduced service.
Saturday, 5 November, and Wednesday, 9 November are expected to be the most affected days, with only about 1 in 5 trains working. On Monday, 7 November, a higher number of services are expected to operate since only Network Rail staff are striking.
The actions will also affect Eurostar and Thalys, which have already cancelled dozens of trains, starting tonight.
Passengers who have a ticket for one of the strike days can either use it the day before the date on the ticket or up to and including Friday 11 November, change it to travel on an alternate date or get a refund if their train is cancelled or rescheduled.
“The union will continue its industrial campaign until we reach a negotiated settlement on job security, pay and working condition”, RMT said, so another strike series is likely to happen again.