Euston station was abandoned, with solely London Overground companies nonetheless operating. It was an analogous scenario at Waterloo as South Western Railway was capable of run solely an “extraordinarily restricted service”. At Victoria, Southern was solely operating a shuttle service to Gatwick airport.
Aslef basic secretary Mick Whelan stated union members had voted thrice to proceed strikes and help was “more durable and stronger than earlier than”.
He informed the Customary: “There is no such thing as a waning help for this strike amongst my members. We’re operating at 92 per cent to 99 per cent in favour of strike motion.
“We have now simply obtained to maintain going. We don’t have an alternate. There are two choices: do nothing or do one thing. We’ll maintain placing till somebody comes to speak to us to discover a decision.”
Mr Whelan stated it had not had talks with the rail firms since rejecting a pay supply 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 need to discuss to us,” he stated. “If we get to February subsequent yr [without a deal], it will likely be half a decade for a few of my members with no pay rise.”
Aslef has not specified how a lot of a pay rise it will take to finish the strike, which started in February final yr.
“We have now 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 underneath it,” Mr Whelan stated. “We’re prepared to come back to the desk and discover a decision.”
“Fairly merely, we’re at a degree the place a quite simple straight pay deal for the previous two years will get us out of the present scenario. My folks don’t have 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. This can be a Westminster-driven drawback.”
A Division for Transport spokesperson stated: “There’s a truthful and cheap supply on the desk that may take practice drivers salaries from £60,000 to £65,000 for a 35-hour, four-day week. Aslef’s leaders gained’t put this supply to their members and as a substitute proceed to strike – damaging their very own business within the course of.”
The Rail Supply Group, which represents the non-public practice firms, stated: “We’re prepared and prepared to speak to Aslef’s leaders so we are able to finish this damaging dispute – however any talks about pay additionally want to handle working practices that date again a long time.
“The business is determined by 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 going through unprecedented modifications 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 modifications to methods of working.”