New Year new strikes: All of UK's rail companies to stage walk out on January 5

Travel chaos isn’t going to be left behind in 2022 for Brits after train driver’s union Aslef announced a fresh strike on January 5.

The Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (Aslef) said today 15 rail companies will join picket lines in a long-standing dispute over pay.

Railroad companies affected include Avanti West Coast, Chiltern, CrossCountry, east Midlands Railway, GWR, Greater Anglia, GTR Great Northern Thameslink, LNER, Northern, Southeastern, Southern/Gatwick Express, SWR (depot drivers only), Island Line, TPE and West Midlands.

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said: ‘We don’t want to go on strike but the companies have pushed us into this place.

‘They have not offered our members at these companies a penny, and these are people who have not had an increase since April 2019.

‘That means they expect train drivers at these companies to take a real-terms pay cut, to work just as hard for considerably less, when inflation is running at north of 14%.

‘The train companies say their hands have been tied by the government, while the government, which does not employ us, says it’s up to the companies to negotiate with us.

‘We are always happy to negotiate – we never refuse to sit down at the table and talk – but these companies have offered us nothing, and that is unacceptable.’

The strike comes alongside a raft of 48-hour walkouts planned by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) on January 3, 4, 6 and 7.

It’s part of a wider wave of labour unrest that has been gripping the UK for months amid the cost-of-living crisis.

Workers in other critical services such as nursing and ambulances are walking off the job in similar disputes over pay and working conditions.

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