The Daily Telegraph
Train drivers seek to derail Tory conference with strike
TRAIN drivers are to cause a wave of disruption at the Conservative Party conference with a two-day strike next month.
Members of the Aslef union will walk out on Oct 1, the day before the start of conference, when thousands of people will be travelling to Birmingham.
They will also strike on Oct 5, the final day, when many people will be going home after Liz Truss gives her closing speech.
Drivers had planned to strike on Sept 15, but called off the industrial action as a mark of respect following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Although Aslef has not confirmed the October strike dates, David Horne, managing director of the state-owned LNER line, said that he had been notified of the walkout.
He said: “This morning we have been notified by the Aslef trade union of further days of strike action on Saturday 1 October and Wednesday 5 October. We have suspended ticket bookings for these dates – we will review our plans and confirm asap which LNER services will run on these days.” Ms Truss has pledged to get tough on trade unions by restricting campaigns on vital infrastructure such as the railways.
The Trade Unions’ Congress has called the Prime Minister’s proposals an “attack on fundamental British liberty”.
Aslef’s row with train companies, which are bankrolled by the Government, centres on demands for a pay increase in line with inflation.
The Rail, Maritime, and Transport workers union, which represents guards, station staff, signal workers and engineers, is also locked in a dispute with industry leaders.
It opposes sweeping reforms to working practices as well as demanding pay rises in line with inflation. It also called off strike action scheduled for Sept 15 and Sept 17. Unions must give two weeks’ notice of strikes.