ASLEF train strikes Manchester: East Midlands Railway cancels all services on Saturday over industrial action

Rail travel is set to be seriously disrupted in Manchester at the weekend with train drivers at 14 companies set to strike on Saturday, November 26

Rail travel is set to be seriously disrupted in Manchester this weekend due to strike action, with East Midlands Railway (EMR) announcing it has cancelled all its services on Saturday (November 26). It comes after “an overwhelming majority” of members of the ASLEF train drivers’ union were balloted and voted to strike over pay earlier this year.

An EMR spokesperson confirmed that the firm “will not operate” any services, many of which run to and from Manchester, on Saturday. EMR is just one of 14 companies that employ ASLEF members, so services across the country are set to be affected.

The full list of rail companies that will strike on November 26 are as follows:

  • Avanti West Coast
  • Chiltern Railways
  • CrossCountry
  • East Midlands Railway
  • Great Western Railway
  • Greater Anglia
  • London North Eastern Railway
  • London Overground
  • Northern Trains
  • Southeastern
  • Transpennine Express
  • West Midlands Trains

EMR said customers who have purchased an Advance, Off-Peak, or Super-off-Peak ticket for November 26 may travel on the day before the date on the ticket or up to and including Tuesday, November 29.

Services on Sunday could also be impacted by the knock-on effects of the strikes. Customers are advised to check the EMR website, information in stations and social media for the latest advice.

Will Rogers, managing director at East Midlands Railway, said: "As a result of strike action being taken by members of the ASLEF union we are not able to run any services on Saturday. Customers with advance, off-peak or anytime tickets affected by the strike can use their ticket either on the day before the date on the ticket or up to and including Tuesday, November 29.

“Customers can also change their tickets to travel on an alternate date or get a refund. More details are on our website."

Mick Whelan, general secretary at ASLEF, said: “We regret that passengers will be inconvenienced for another day. We don’t want to be taking this action. Withdrawing our labour is always a last resort for a trade union.

“We have come to the table, as we always will, in good faith but while the industry continues to make no offer – due to the dodgy deal they signed with the Department for Transport – we have no choice but to take strike action again.

“They want drivers to take a real terms pay cut. With inflation now well into double figures, train drivers who kept Britain moving through the pandemic are now expected to work just as hard this year as last year but for less. Most of these drivers have not had an increase in salary since 2019.

“We want the companies – which are making huge profits – to make a proper pay offer so that our members can keep up with the cost of living.”