A rail strike on Southeastern is set to occur after drivers voted for action at a number of train operating companies.
Drivers at ASLEF voted for action after issues with pay rises far below inflation.
At Southeastern turnout of 86 per cent saw 741 (91.6%) vote to strike and 68 (8.4%) vote no.
The action is a separate dispute from that at RMT which recently saw three days of action. That action didn’t include train drivers.
Drivers in Scotland have accepted a five per cent pay rise.
Government currently have tighter reigns over the rail network than at any time since privatisation, and perhaps even under British Rail. The Treasury and Department for Transport have also been seeking heavy cuts even as rail ridership heads above 90 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.
Even when franchising existed, Government had great power over fare levels, staffing, rolling stock and much else on the network. That’s now increased further.
One area of dispute is government stating it’s down to rail company management in England to talk to unions, whereas those rail companies have their finances dictated by Whitehall and unable to carry out discussion of any real effect.
Now Southeastern are in-house after the former private operator GoVia was found to have not declared £25 million in taxpayer payments to the DfT. GoVia was fined £23.5 million.
While GoVia were not given another extension to continue running Southeastern, the DfT did extend their control of Thameslink in March this year under a new management contract.