Train drivers will strike on Avanti West Coast and ban overtime on LNER in July, spelling disruption on both of Britain’s mainlines from London to Scotland.
The Aslef union announced a one-day strike on Sunday 2 July on Avanti, with an ongoing overtime ban starting on LNER from 1 July.
The disputes at each operator are separate to the wider national pay dispute. More strike dates across 16 train companies in England are likely to be announced soon after ballots this week reaffirmed the union’s mandate for action, with overwhelming votes in favour.
The strike at Avanti on 2 July is over changes to sick pay, while the union said LNER was attempting to break agreed procedures.
Mick Whelan, the Aslef general secretary, said: “It is deeply regrettable that Aslef members have been forced to take this action but our members will not stand by and allow our agreed terms and conditions to be violated by the train operating companies.
‘We have been coming to the table to try to resolve these disputes for many months, but unless the operators honour the agreements in place with our members, we will be forced to continue taking action. The companies know how to avoid this action – it’s by honouring their agreements and negotiating fairly with our members.
“As the recent ballot results showed, Aslef members at these companies want to continue taking action to hold their employers to account and the whole union will stand with them.”
The overtime ban could potentially prove more disruptive than a strike. A similar ban at TransPennine Express (TPE) was described by the operator as a significant factor in its high rate of cancellations, before the service was taken under public control last month.
In rare good news for passengers, on Thursday Aslef announced it was withdrawing its overtime ban at TPE, allowing drivers to work rest days for the first time in more than a year.