Drivers at eight train operating companies are to go on strike on Saturday 30 July, bringing many services around Britain to a halt.
The unusually widespread industrial action by the Aslef union will see around 6,000 more drivers enter the fray in the national rail dispute.
The strike will come three days after another stoppage by the union RMT at Network Rail and train companies, with signallers among the 40,000 members taking action which will likewise cause severe disruption.
The Aslef strike will cover Chiltern, GWR, LNER, London Overground, Northern, Southeastern, TransPennine and West Midlands rail services. All voted this week by overwhelming majorities for strikes.
Mick Whelan, general secretary of Aslef, said the union did not want to strike but the move was forced by train companies failing to offer a pay rise after a three-year freeze.
Whelan said: ‘We don’t want to go on strike – strikes are the result of a failure of negotiation … We don’t want to inconvenience passengers – and we don’t want to lose money by going on strike.
‘But we’ve been forced into this position by the train companies, driven by the Tory government. The drivers at the companies where we are striking 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.”
He said the union remained open to talks.
The action, like the RMT’s, is likely to affect the opening days of the Commonwealth Games, with West Midlands trains serving multiple venues including the aquatics centre.
July 14, 2022 at 06:07PM Gwyn Topham Transport correspondent