A strike by members of ASLEF, the train conductors’ union, means there will be no Avanti West Coast services on Friday and customers are being told not to attempt travel and instead request a refund, look for an alternative. transportor rearrange trips for another date.
Options for travel by rail will be “extremely limited” on the West Coast Main Line between London, Scotland and North Wales. Many destinations will not have rail connectivity on May 12 and there will also be no rail replacement services.
The next day, RMT members will go on strike, on “a greatly reduced schedule” at Avanti West Coast.
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “This strike follows a recent re-vote by members who work for 14 trains that operate companies which massively reaffirmed a mandate for more strikes.
“Throughout this dispute, which has lasted for more than a year, the government has tied the hands of the rail companies and prevented them from offering a fair deal.
“We are on strike so employers and government can see that the enormous anger among rail workers is very real and they need to acknowledge that fact, face reality and come up with better proposals.
“We call on the rail companies to come to the table with RMT and negotiate in good faith for a better deal for rail workers.”
The RMT said it had chosen May 13, the day the Eurovision Song Contest is held in Liverpool, because “it was the last date allowed by the anti-union laws of this country.”
ASLEF said: “Train conductors agree that all workers should be paid fairly and wages should rise to keep up with inflation – many public sector workers deserve much more than their frozen wages amount to. for a long time”.
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“Senior managers in our industry take home huge salaries; rail operators have paid dividends to their shareholders during the pandemic, and rolling stock companies (which own and re-lease the trains) have earned thousands of dollars.” The statement that there is no money left to adequately pay railway workers is not true.
“During the pandemic, train drivers went to work to keep the country moving. Rail helped other key workers to work and kept goods like food and medicine moving across the country.”
Barry Milsom, Avanti West Coast Executive Director of Operations and Security, said: “We are doing everything we can to attract visitors to and from Liverpool during Eurovision, but further ASLEF and RMT strikes will affect our services. Due to the ASLEF strike on May 12, we will not have trains on that day and we are telling customers not to travel.
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“During the RMT strike on May 13, we will be operating on a significantly reduced schedule, so all of our customers should plan ahead, check before they travel, and be aware of their last train home.
“While we can serve Liverpool at our normal frequency of services on this day, RMT’s action means our last train to leave the city will be much sooner and Eurovision fans should also consider their travel options. Any customer with tickets for May 12 and 13 can take their trip on alternative days or claim a full refund.
“We would like to thank our customers for their continued patience and understanding as they face further disruption to their travels. We will continue our discussions on industry reform with RMT and ASLEF so that we can develop a railway fit for the 21st century.”