Tube strikes called off – but walkouts on rail still set to go ahead

Tube strikes planned for Monday and next month have been called off, the Aslef union announced.

The walkouts had been planned for 8 April and 4 May.

The Mayor of London said it was “good news” for Londoners, adding: “This demonstrates – once again – what can be achieved by talking and engaging with transport staff and trade unions rather than working against them.”

Drivers who are members of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union which represents 96% of train drivers in Britain, were due to walk out from their roles on the London Underground over pay and conditions.

Separately, drivers at 16 rail companies are staging a fresh wave of strikes, plus a six-day overtime ban, with disruption today – these are all still scheduled to go ahead.

The strikes are part of a long-running dispute and will take place across April and May.

There will also be overtime bans which mean some services may not be running or may be reduced as drivers refuse to work their rest days.

In an “entirely separate dispute”, ASLEF members will strike and refuse to do overtime at LNER on specific dates in April over “the company’s persistent failure to comply with existing agreements”, the union said.

People are advised to check before they travel.


Here’s what’s happening when:

The rail strikes will take place on:

Friday 5 April

Strikes will affect Avanti West Coast, East Midlands Railway, West Midlands Trains, and CrossCountry.

Saturday 6 April

Strikes will affect Chiltern, GWR, LNER, Northern, and TransPennine Trains.

Monday 8 April

Strikes will affect Greater Anglia, c2c, GTR Great Northern Thameslink, Southeastern, Southern/Gatwick Express, South Western Railway main line and depot drivers, and SWR Island Line.

Overtime bans will take place on:

Thursday 4 April

Friday 5 April

Saturday 6 April

Monday 8 April

Tuesday 9 April

People are advised to check before they travel, as some areas may have no service.

LNER action will take place on:

Saturday 20 April – strike

Friday 19 April – overtime ban

Saturday 20 April – overtime ban

Sunday 21 April – overtime ban

ASLEF says this is “because of the company’s failure to adhere to the agreed bargaining machinery”.

Why are the strikes happening?

When the strikes on the London Underground were announced, Finn Brennan, ASLEF’s full-time organiser on the network, said in a statement: “ASLEF Tube train drivers will strike in April and May in a long-running dispute over London Underground’s failure to give assurances that changes to our members’ terms and conditions will not be imposed without agreement and that all existing agreements will be honoured.

“Despite a previous commitment to withdraw plans for massive changes to drivers’ working conditions, London Underground management has established a full-time team of managers preparing to impose their plans.

Sadiq Khan said they had been called off after “talking and engaging with transport staff and trade unions rather than working against them”.

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Mick Whelan, ASLEF general secretary, said of the rail strikes: “Last month, when we announced renewed mandates for industrial action, because under the Tories’ draconian anti-union laws we have to ballot our members every six months, we called on the train companies, and the government, to come to the table for meaningful talks to negotiate a new pay deal for train drivers who have not had an increase in salary since 2019.

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“Our members voted overwhelmingly – yet again – for strike action.”

A Rail Delivery Group spokesperson said: “Nobody wins when industrial action impacts people’s lives and livelihoods, and we will work hard to minimise any disruption to our passengers.

“We want to resolve this dispute, but the ASLEF leadership need to recognise that hard-pressed taxpayers are continuing to contribute an extra £54m a week just to keep services running post-COVID.

“We continue to seek an agreement with the ASLEF leadership and remain open to talks to find a solution to this dispute.”