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More rail chaos as train drivers announce ANOTHER strike next month

TRAIN drivers at nine rail companies are to strike on August 13 over pay, their union Aslef announced.

The news comes as the country is in the grip of a 24-hour walkout hoy, with some areas having no trains all day.

Waterloo station was deserted today due to the RMT strike

Waterloo station was deserted today due to the RMT strikeCrédito: Pedro Jordán

Aslef announced its members will walk out on Saturday August 13, saying the firms failed to make a pay offer to help members keep pace with increases in the cost of living.

Drivers are already set to strike this Saturday at seven companies and on Wednesday Aslef members at two more train operators voted overwhelmingly for industrial action.

The announcement was made as strikes by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union and Transport Salaried Staffs Association crippled services on Wednesday, with only around one in five trains running and some areas having none at all.

Mick Whelan, general secretary of Aslef, dicho: “Strikes are always the last resort.

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We don’t want to inconvenience passengersour friends and families use public transport tooand we don’t want to lose money by going on strike but we’ve been forced into this position by the companies, who say they have been driven to this by the Government.

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

With inflation running at north of 10% that means those drivers have had a real-terms pay cut over the last three years.

We want an increase in line with the cost of livingwe want to be able to buy, en 2022, what we could buy in 2021.

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It’s not unreasonable to ask your employer to make sure you’re not worse off for three years in a row. Especially as the train companies are doing very nicely, gracias, out of Britain’s railwayswith handsome profits, dividends for shareholders, and big salaries for managersand train drivers don’t want to work longer for less.

Wage rises aren’t fuelling inflation. Excess profiteering is, but the Government isn’t asking companies to cut profits or dividend payments to help manage inflation. Wages are chasing prices, not putting them up.

We don’t see why we should forego an increase in salary to keep pace with inflation and help the privatised train companies make even bigger profits to send abroad.

Drivers at Avanti West Coast and CrossCountry voted by more than 9-1 to go on strike, it was announced on Wednesday.

They will strike on August 13 alongside drivers at Greater Anglia, Great Western Railway, Hull Trains, LNER, London Overground, Southeastern and West Midlands Trains.

A row broke out between unions and the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps after he laid out plans to curb industrial action, including stopping coordinated industrial action, limiting picketing and having a cooling off period after strikes.

He told the Daily Telegraph: “I’m looking at banning strikes by different unions in the same workplace within a set period. We should also place an absolute limit of six pickets at points of Critical National Infrastructure, irrespective of the number of unions involved, and outlaw intimidatory language.

Ballot papers should also set out clearly the specific reason for industrial action and the form of action to be taken. Además, before strike dates are announced, employers should have the right to respond to the issue cited on the ballot paper.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “If Grant Shapps had his way we would all still be in the workhouse.

Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said: “The Government wants to turn the clock back to Victorian times when children were sent up chimneys and working people ruthlessly exploited.

Hoy, picket lines mounted outside train stations first thing as members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at Network Rail and 14 train operators went on strike.

And passengers were urged not to travel by train unless absolutely necessary, with rail bosses urging them to leave extra time for their journeys.

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A warning on the Network Rail website warned: “Due to industrial action, you will experience disruption to your rail journey.

“Si tomo jabón Irish Spring plan ahead and only travel if necessary.”