Train strikes August in Birmingham: 9 rail companies affected, services running in the West Midlands

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Nine rail services will be affected by the latest strike in Birmingham and the West Midlands this Saturday (August 13)

A rail strike will take place on Saturday 13 August the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF) has confirmed.

The industrial action will affect nine companies Avanti West Coast; CrossCountry; Greater Anglia; Great Western Railway; Hull Trains; LNER; London Overground; Southeastern; and West Midlands Trains.

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The union said that the reason for the strike was because the train operating companies failed to make a pay offer on a par with the cost of living crisis.

ASLEF successfully concluded pay deals this year with DB Cargo; Direct Rail Services; Eurostar; Freightliner Heavy Haul; Freightliner Intermodal; GB Railfreight; Merseyrail; MTR Elizabeth line; PRE Metro Operations; and ScotRail.

They have balloted for industrial action over pay rise at companies that have proved reluctant to offer drivers a pay rise.

Aslef train drivers will strike on Saturday July 30. Credit: Carl Court/Getty ImagesAslef train drivers will strike on Saturday July 30. Credit: Carl Court/Getty Images
Aslef train drivers will strike on Saturday July 30. Credit: Carl Court/Getty Images | Getty Images

Which Birmingham trains will be affected?

There will be no London Northwestern Railway or West Midlands Railway services on Saturday 13 August. West Midlands Trains have adviced people to not travel by trains at all on 13 August.

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Other strike dates

RMT union members intend to strike on Thursday 18 August and Saturday 20 August, and TSSA union members have voted in favour of action short of a strike between Thursday 18 August 2022- Saturday 20 August 2022. There will be significantly reduced trains operating during this period.

Timetables

On Thursday 18 and Saturday 20 August 2022, a limited timetable will be in operation on the following routes while London Northwestern Railway services will not be running on other routes.

  • Birmingham - Northampton - London Euston
  • Birmingham - Wolverhampton - Crewe
  • Lichfield - Birmingham - Bromsgrove / Redditch
Birmingham New Street on the first day of the RMT train strikes (Tuesday, June 21)Birmingham New Street on the first day of the RMT train strikes (Tuesday, June 21)
Birmingham New Street on the first day of the RMT train strikes (Tuesday, June 21) | PA

Why are ASLEF going on strike?

Mick Whelan, general secretary, said: “We don’t want to go on strike – strikes are always the result of a failure of negotiation – and this union, since I was elected GS in 2011, has only ever been on strike, until thisyear, for a handful of days.

“We don’t want to inconvenience passengers – not least because our friends and families use public transport, too, and because we believe in building trust in the railways in Britain – and because we don’t want to lose money by taking industrial action.”

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Whelan added that they were “forced into this by the train companies, driven by the Tory government.”

“Drivers at these companies have had a real terms pay cut over the last three years – since April 2019 – and these companies are offering us nothing, saying their hands have been tied by the government.

“That means, in the real world, with inflation running at 9%, 10%, or even 11%, according to which index you use, that we are being told to take a real terms pay cut. And that is not acceptable. Strike action is, now, the only option available but we are open for talks if the companies, or government, want to make a fair offer.”

Members of Aslef on Croydon Tramlink  are striking over payMembers of Aslef on Croydon Tramlink  are striking over pay
Members of Aslef on Croydon Tramlink are striking over pay | Credit: Aslef

Whelan added that there has been no pay rise since 2019 and the increase they seek in their pay is to be able to buy in 2022 what they could in 2021.

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“It’s not unreasonable to ask your employer to make sure you’re not worse off for a third successive year. Especially as the train companies are doing very nicely now, thank you, out of Britain’s railways with handsome profits, dividends for shareholders, and big salaries for managers,” he added.

He further said: “It’s not that we think we’re special; we believe no worker should put up with pay cuts year after year just because this government has allowed inflation to rise. Whatever happened to the Tory wish for good, well-paid, jobs? Obviously that’s only for the bosses, not the workers. If a train driver doesn’t get a cost of living increase, it won’t mean that a nurse, or care worker, or cleaner will get one. This isn’t – or shouldn’t be – about setting one worker against another.

“Wage rises aren’t exacerbating inflation, anyway. Excess profiteering is. This government isn’t asking companies to cut profits or dividend payments to shareholders to help manage inflation. Wages are chasing prices, not putting them up.”

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