strike by prepare drivers was “solidly supported” on Saturday amid a contemporary conflict between unions and the Authorities over the bitter pay, jobs and circumstances dispute.
Passengers suffered one other day of journey distress as hundreds of members of Aslef at seven prepare corporations staged a 24 hour walkout.
The union mentioned it has obtained a suggestion from Transport for Wales for a 6.6% pay rise which it’ll put to its members.
Picket strains had been mounted exterior prepare stations and Aslef mentioned strikers had been receiving assist from the general public.
He informed the PA information company: “The strike at the moment was strong. That exhibits the solidarity of our members and their dedication to not be pushed round by Grant Shapps, the Division for Transport, and the prepare corporations.
“After protecting Britain shifting through the pandemic, they anticipate our members, who haven’t had a rise in pay since 2019, to maintain working, successfully for a pay lower.
“All we’re asking for is a rise in keeping with the rise in the price of residing – hovering inflation is just not the fault of working folks on this nation, it’s the fault of this authorities and its inept dealing with of the UK financial system.
“Shapps holds the important thing to this however, true to kind, he’s blustering and ducking and diving, and seeking to blame everybody else, certainly, anybody else, for the issues he has created.
“He might remedy this right away by permitting the prepare corporations to come back to the desk with a smart supply and negotiate with us.”
Former Labour shadow minister Sam Tarry, who was sacked after giving broadcast interviews from a picket line final week, mentioned he “completely” nonetheless thinks Sir Keir Starmer is one of the best individual to turn out to be prime minister.
Becoming a member of one other picket line at Paddington station in London on Saturday, the previous shadow transport minister mentioned it was “actually essential” for Labour MPs to indicate their solidarity with hanging staff.
He mentioned: “We should always by no means have been in a scenario the place we had an edict which you could’t be a part of a picket line. That is the Labour Occasion, the clue is within the identify. We’re the celebration based by the commerce unions.”
He added that the hyperlink between the union motion and the Labour Occasion is “indivisible” and “a part of the identical material”.
Grant Shapps informed The Instances: “The ‘Two Micks’, Lynch of the RMT and Whelan of Aslef, are taking the taxpayer for a journey, however not in the best way they’re meant to.
“RMT is stalling on reform and Aslef is dragging its toes in negotiations whereas each name extra strikes. Sufficient.”
In response, Mr Whelan informed Instances Radio: “I say Mr Shapps is mendacity, fairly merely, fairly clearly.
“We’re not dragging our toes in negotiations, we negotiate with 14 non-public corporations, we don’t work for the Authorities or the DfT (Division for Transport).
“I would love Mr Shapps to get us out of this catch-22 scenario that he misrepresents at each alternative.”
The strike hit Arriva Rail London, Higher Anglia, Nice Western, Hull Trains, LNER, Southeastern and West Midlands Trains.
A DfT spokesman mentioned: “It’s extraordinarily deceptive to recommend the Transport Secretary ought to get entangled in these negotiations.
“His position is to guard the general public purse, guaranteeing worth for cash for the hardworking folks of this nation. As such, he’s required to set the bounds of taxpayer assist and finally log out on any deal – to not be concerned in negotiating one – and his contracts with operators permit him to do exactly that.
“The union is aware of full properly that negotiations over pay and dealing practices don’t occur with the Authorities – they occur with the employers of the folks they signify. We as soon as once more urge union representatives to get again around the negotiating desk.”
Soccer followers travelling to the opening Saturday of English leagues, and other people going to the Commonwealth Video games in Birmingham had been amongst these affected by the disruption.
Strike motion will probably be stepped up subsequent month with a collection of stoppages by Aslef, the RMT and the Transport Salaried Staffs Affiliation.
In the meantime, Hitachi rail staff are to strike for 3 days from Sunday in a row over pay and circumstances.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) whose jobs embrace upkeep, are in dispute over pay and points together with breaks, depart entitlement and shift size.