Train drivers are set to stage a strike in October after their September action was suspended.

Aslef union members at 12 railway firms have voted to walk out on Saturday, October 1 and Wednesday, October 5 amid a dispute over the gap between increases in pay and the cost of living.

The union was due to hold strike action on Thursday, September 15, but this was suspended following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, September 8.

An Aslef spokesperson confirmed no statement will be made on the October strikes until after the Queen's state funeral, which was held yesterday.

Watford Observer: Services via Watford Junction are set to be severely disrupted. Image: Stephen DanzigServices via Watford Junction are set to be severely disrupted. Image: Stephen Danzig (Image: Stephen Danzig)

The London and East of England rail firms affected by the drivers' strike will be:

  • West Midlands Trains(including London Northwestern Railway)
  • Avanti West Coast
  • Chiltern Railways
  • London Overground
  • CrossCountry
  • Greater Anglia
  • Great Western Railway
  • Hull Trains
  • LNER
  • Southeastern

Although no statement has been made about the October strike action, Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan outlined the reasons behind the initial suspended September strike. 

Mr Whelan said: "We don’t want to go on strike – withdrawing our labour, although a fundamental human right, is always a last resort for a trade union – but the train companies have forced our hand.

"They want train drivers to take a real terms pay cut – to work just as hard this year as last, but for 10 per cent less.

"Because inflation is now in double figures and heading higher – much higher, according to some forecasts – and yet the train companies have offered us nothing. 

"And this for train drivers who kept Britain moving – key workers and goods around the country – throughout the pandemic and who have not had an increase in salary since 2019." 

Watford Observer: ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan. Image: PAASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan. Image: PA (Image: PA)

The October strike action follows consumer price index inflation around the 10% mark.

The cost of an average "basket" of goods and services rose by around 10.1pc in July, according to the Office for National Statistics.

This rate of inflation fell to 9.9pc in the 12 months to August 2022.

Transport workers across the sector have called for pay increases which align with the rate of inflation.

RMT members had planned strike action for Thursday, September 15 and Saturday, September 17 - the latest in a series of walkouts which began in June amid a dispute over workers' pay and job security.

This was suspended following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Read more: Man clashes with RMT members at Watford Junction over rail strike

Watford Observer: Watford Junction railway station. Image: PAWatford Junction railway station. Image: PA (Image: Stephen Danzig)

The TSSA union was set to carry out industrial action between midday on September 26 and September 27 on railways and at stations.

This has been cancelled.

Aslef's October strike is set to affect passengers travelling to major events throughout the county.

On Wednesday, October 5, Watford are set to host Swansea City at Vicarage Road. The Hornets are not in action on October 1 - but travel plans caused by the Saturday strike could well still be disrupted for the fixture at Stoke at midday on October 2.

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