Train drivers in Britain are set to hold fresh strikes in May and June after rejecting a “risible pay offer” which could hit the FA Cup Final and Eurovision Song Contest.
Workers at 16 train companies will stage three-day walkouts on May 12-13, June 3, as the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF) union rejected the 4% pay rise offer from the Rail Delivery Group (RDG).
“The proposal – of just 4% – was clearly not designed to be accepted as inflation is still running north of 10% and our members have not had an increase for four years,” Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, said in a statement on Thursday.
He noted that the RDG rejected the union’s proposals to modernize Britain’s railways and help them run more efficiently, for passengers and for businesses, in the 21st century.
“We do not want to go on strike – we do not want to inconvenience passengers, we have families and friends who use the railway, too, and we believe in investing in rail for the future of this country,” added Whelan.
Meanwhile, the RDG said the new strike decision by the ASLEF is “disappointing news,” pointing out that the strikes “senselessly targeting” both the final of Eurovision and the FA Cup Final is “disappointing” for all those planning to attend.
Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Liverpool on May 9, 11, and 13 (first semi-final, second semi-final, and grand final respectively), while FA Cup Final between Manchester City and Manchester United will take place at Wembley Stadium, on June 3.
“We urge the ASLEF leadership to re-join us at the negotiating table and work with us to find a solution to the issues our industry faces so we can give our people the pay rise we have always said we wanted to do,” a Rail Delivery Group spokesperson said in a statement.