Rail commuters face further disruption over the summer holidays after train drivers announced a week-long ban on overtime in a long-running dispute over pay.
Members of the drivers’ union, Aslef, will refuse to work overtime from Monday 7 August to Saturday 12 August.
The industrial action, which affects lines served by 15 rail companies in England and some cross-border routes to Wales and Scotland, is the fifth week of overtime work restrictions since May. The latest ban ends on Saturday, with another due from 31 July to 5 August.
Mick Whelan, Aslef general secretary, said: “We don’t want to take this action – because we don’t want people to be upset – but the train companies, and the government that stands behind them, have forced us to this place because they refuse to sit down and talk to us and not make a fair and reasonable offer of wages to train drivers who have not reached 2 years – of 20 years’ price – of 2 0 years with no train charges of 20 years. .”
Network Rail is urging passengers to check before they travel on strike days as services may start late and finish early.
The impact of the ban will vary across the country, with some train operators putting in place a revised timetable during the industrial action.
The train companies affected are: Avanti West Coast; Chiltern Railways; Cross Country; East Midlands Railway; Great Anglia; Great Western Railway; GTR Great Northern Thameslink; Island Line; LNER; Northern Train; Southeast; Southern/Gatwick Express; Main line of the South Western Railway; TransPennine Express and West Midlands Trains.
Train staff members of the RMT union staged two strikes last week and will take further industrial action on Saturday, in their own long-running row with train operators over pay, work and conditions.
A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents train operators, said: “Aslef’s leadership continues to disrupt customers’ travel plans. They have rejected a fair and affordable offer without putting it to their members, which will take the driver’s average base pay for a four-day week without overtime from £60,000 to almost £65,000 by the end of the 2023 awards in payment.
“The train companies will work hard to minimize the impact of the overtime ban which will affect the level of cancellations and the punctuality of some services. Customers are advised to plan their journey in advance and check the latest travel information before they travel.
“We are asking Aslef to recognize the real financial challenge facing the industry and work with us to deliver a better, more reliable railway with a strong long-term future.”
The announcement came after a planned London Underground strike this week was called off by the RMT and Aslef following a breakthrough in talks.
In other developments, further strikes at Gatwick airport were suspended after DHL workers accepted a 15% pay rise, allaying fears of disruption to the busy summer holiday period.
As well as the salary increase, DHL workers will get an increase in skills pay, meaning the hourly rate will increase between 15% and 31%. In addition, workers will get an extra shift premium of £1.25 an hour for work between midnight and 4.59am, according to their union, Unite.
Earlier this month, the union said around 950 staff working in roles including baggage handling and check-in desks for ASC, Menzies, GGS and DHL, would stage eight days of strike action.
As a result of the pay deal around 600 DHL workers will not be on strike from Friday 28 July to Tuesday 1 August, and again from Friday 4 August to Tuesday 8 August.
Workers at ASC and Menzies have voted for improved pay offers and talks are continuing with GGS, the union said.