Euston station was abandoned, with solely London Overground providers nonetheless working. It was the same state of affairs at Waterloo as South Western Railway was capable of run solely an “extraordinarily restricted service”. At Victoria, Southern was solely working a shuttle service to Gatwick airport.
Aslef normal secretary Mick Whelan mentioned union members had voted 3 times to proceed strikes and assist was “more durable and stronger than earlier than”.
He informed the Customary: “There isn’t a waning assist for this strike amongst my members. We’re working at 92 per cent to 99 per cent in favour of strike motion.
“We now have simply received to maintain going. We don’t have another. There are two choices: do nothing or do one thing. We are going to preserve putting till somebody comes to speak to us to discover a decision.”
Mr Whelan mentioned it had not had talks with the rail firms since rejecting a pay provide in April. Mr Whelan final met Transport Secretary Mark Harper final December, and rail minister Huw Merriman in January.
“We’re prepared to speak to anyone. No one appears to wish to discuss to us,” he mentioned. “If we get to February subsequent 12 months [without a deal], it will likely be half a decade for a few of my members with out a pay rise.”
Aslef has not specified how a lot of a pay rise it might take to finish the strike, which started in February final 12 months.
“We now have by no means put a determine on it, as a result of it’s like promoting your own home – as quickly as we do, somebody will are available below it,” Mr Whelan mentioned. “We’re prepared to return to the desk and discover a decision.”
“Fairly merely, we’re at some extent the place a quite simple straight pay deal for the previous two years will get us out of the present state of affairs. My folks haven’t any religion on this Authorities and no religion within the folks they work for.
“We don’t have an issue in Scotland, we don’t have an issue in Wales, we don’t have an issue in freight, we don’t have an issue with TfL or the Elizabeth line or Eurostar or anybody else. It is a Westminster-driven downside.”
A Division for Transport spokesperson mentioned: “There’s a honest and affordable provide on the desk that may take prepare drivers salaries from £60,000 to £65,000 for a 35-hour, four-day week. Aslef’s leaders gained’t put this provide to their members and as a substitute proceed to strike – damaging their very own trade within the course of.”
The Rail Supply Group, which represents the personal prepare firms, mentioned: “We’re prepared and prepared to speak to Aslef’s leaders so we will finish this damaging dispute – however any talks about pay additionally want to deal with working practices that date again a long time.
“The trade relies on a month-to-month injection of as much as £175m from the taxpayer as a result of revenues are nonetheless 30 per cent beneath pre-pandemic ranges – whereas concurrently dealing with unprecedented adjustments in buyer journey patterns.
“This isn’t simply costing taxpayers, it’s costing companies eye-watering sums, and all as a result of Aslef’s management refuse to debate much-needed adjustments to methods of working.”