What To Do If A Strike Impacts Your Travel Plans

Senior Reporter, HuffPost Life

A traveler studies the information sheet displayed outside a London Underground station as public transport workers hold strikes over pay and conditions.

News of the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike has generated headlines (and memes ) for two weeks amid the breakdown in negotiations between the screenwriters’ labor union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

Labor disputes are also afoot in another major sector — travel.

“From individual airlines and pilots to rail networks and passport offices, strikes can unfold across various industries, leading to significant vacation disruptions,” said Cody Candee, founder and CEO of the luggage storage and travel company Bounce . “Such strikes typically take place as a result of industry disputes across factors, including pensions, pay, job security and working conditions.”

In recent months, we’ve seen these exact scenarios unfold as rail workers , pilots , passport office employees and others in the travel world have taken action in pursuit of fair labor policies. And, as we enter the peak tourism season of summer, countless travelers likely will experience the impact firsthand.

“Strikes can disrupt vacation travel in several ways,” said Michael Ballard, director of intelligence at the international security firm Global Guardian . “Airport staff, including air traffic controllers, security personnel and baggage handlers, can go on strike, leading to canceled flights, delays with baggage handling and security lines, and lost luggage.”

Airline pilots also may strike, which means planes cannot fly, Ballard noted. Similarly, there might be mass cancellations of railway and metro services when transit operators walk out.

“Anti-pension reform protests in France in 2023 led to widespread strikes across labor sectors, including in public transportation,” Ballard explained. “As a result, many people who use rail, subway, metro or bus services to get to work or otherwise move around were forced to travel by automobile during the strike, leading to significantly increased traffic in Paris and other French cities.”

Strikes often are accompanied by protests, which can require tourists to further change their plans, Ballard said.

“Many holidaymakers have already been affected by travel-related strike action this year, with flight delays, train cancellations, and extensive passport renewal times becoming more frequent,” Candee said. “With this in mind, it pays to be prepared if your plans are impacted.”

Below, experts explain how exactly to be prepared and what to do if a strike occurs during a planned trip:

Find out what you can in advance.

“The good news is that strikes are generally announced in advance and are usually limited to a finite time period,” said Zach Griff, senior reporter at The Points Guy .

Although snap strikes may occur, more often there’s a fair bit of planning and communication ahead of time. For example, the British and Irish trade union Unite announced in April that Heathrow Airport staff walkouts were scheduled for May 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10, and May 25, 26 and 27. This gave travelers the opportunity to adjust their itineraries.

“If a strike is planned when you’re scheduled to travel, many airlines will offer flexible rebooking policies to let you voluntarily change your plans to avoid any possible disruptions,” Griff explained. “If you’re traveling with a major airline, you’ll likely have the option of rerouting through a different airport or flying at a different day or time to avoid a strike.”

Pointing to the recent passport office strikes in the U.K., Candee recommended advance planning for those whose documents are expired or about to be.

“To avoid any issues associated with passport office strikes, make sure to apply for a passport well in advance of your trip,” Candee said. “Currently, the U.K. Home Office is working toward a 10-week time scale for general passport renewals. However, this figure could increase as a result of strikes.”

Build flexibility into your itinerary.

“Plan flexible itineraries, book flexible fares, and take advantage of bookings sites that allow you to make multiple bookings for options that you can cancel at the last minute,” said Julian Moro, senior vice president and regional security director at International SOS .

Indeed, many hotels and rental car companies allow free cancellation until 24 hours before a reservation, so you could book accommodations in more than one destination if you’re worried about anything impacting a long-awaited vacation. For event-related trips like a destination wedding, try to build in extra travel days and options to account for delays.

“If you absolutely must travel during a strike, arrive even earlier than you normally would and be prepared for possible disruptions to your journey,” Griff advised. “Flying with major airlines is also a great way to prepare for a possible strike. These mega-carriers typically offer multiple daily flights to a given destination from an assortment of hubs, so you’ll likely have a higher chance of avoiding disruptions with these carriers.“

Have backup plans.

“Have a backup plan on how to get to your destination, whether that means taking a car instead of traveling by rail, or a secondary airport to fly into/out of if a strike is planned during your vacation,” Ballard said.

Taking the time to determine alternative transportation options in advance is incredibly useful, should the primary option disappear.

“Understand the driving license requirements for driving in countries in your itinerary in case you need to drive one or more parts,” Moro said. “Know where your ride-sharing apps do and don’t work, download any authorized local equivalents in jurisdictions in which ride-sharing is assessed as a legitimate and safe alternative to taxis.”

Don’t be afraid to ask for help figuring out these backup options.

“You can reach out to your travel agent if you have one to determine alternative means of travel and accommodations or contact the businesses that are going on strike to determine an alternate plan of attack,” Moro said.

Keep up with the latest news.

“While you’re traveling, be sure to stay up to date on the local news and sign up for travel alerts from your airline,” Griff advised.

That way you can take action as soon as possible.

“While most strikes are planned in advance, some can happen unexpectedly,” Ballard said. “Like bad weather, try not to let the inconvenience of a labor strike ruin your vacation. Stay informed. Maintain communication with your airline, travel agent, and hotel.”

Security consultants like Global Guardian offer pre-travel intelligence reports and access to real-time travel alerts as well, Ballard said. You can also discuss an evacuation plan in the event unrest escalates and prompts a “Do Not Travel Advisory” from the U.S. State Department ― as recently happened in Sudan .

“Monitor official and unofficial local sources,” Moro said. “Understand where and when in your itinerary strike action could be prevalent.”

Know your refund rights.

“When your flight to, from or within the U.S. is canceled or significantly delayed, you’re entitled to a full refund,” Griff said. “If a strike disrupts your trip, you may have better luck rebooking with a different airline than the one you originally booked, especially if you were planning to fly a smaller carrier. If that’s the case, remember that you’ll get your money back from your original carrier, even if it takes a few weeks.”

The laws around refunds have changed over time and can vary, depending on where your travels take you.

“For example, under European law EC 261, travelers are eligible for up to $700 per person in airline compensation for avoidable flight disruptions, including delays over three hours, cancellations or denied boarding due to overbooking,” explained Tomasz Pawliszyn, CEO of the passenger rights service AirHelp . “The exact same rule applies in the U.K. with UK261 regulation.”

These laws require airlines to compensate passengers for flight disruptions that are considered the responsibility of the carrier, Pawliszyn said.

“That includes any disruptions due to airline staff strikes — anything involving the employees of the airline carrier, including pilots, cabin crew, airline engineers, and other employees working directly under the airline,” Pawliszyn said. “However, you are not entitled to compensation if the strikes are outside of the airline’s control. Strikes by airport security staff, baggage handlers, and air traffic controller staff are considered extraordinary circumstances.”

Checking your rights as a passenger is worth the time. AirHelp’s free eligibility checker is one tool for passengers to determine whether they’re entitled to compensation. Don’t be afraid to seek help if anything is unclear.

“Contact your travel agent, tour operator or airline and see if you are able to reschedule your booking or claim compensation,” Candee said.

Consider travel insurance.

The unforeseen challenges and general uncertainty of the pandemic led many to invest in travel insurance . While potential COVID-related disruptions are a common motivation, Candee noted that strikes could also be a good reason.

“Although travel insurance can’t help to prevent vacation disruptions, it can help to avoid leaving you out of pocket later down the line,” he said. “It’s a good idea to purchase travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your trip. A travel insurance policy won’t cover you for strike action if you buy it after the strike has been announced.“

As always, make sure to read the fine print when purchasing travel insurance.

“Note that not all travel insurance policies cover claims related to strikes, though, so take the time to check your policy documents carefully to ensure that you are definitely covered,” Candee said.

Try to avoid hot areas.

“It is important not to automatically conflate strikes with demonstrations, albeit they can be both,” Moro explained.

He recommended avoiding the immediate vicinity of demonstrations when you can if you’re not from the area.

“It may be possible to visit the desired location early in the morning before the demonstration forms,” Moro explained. “Select modes of transport and accommodation options that are less likely to be impacted.”

Some demonstrations may escalate, as well. He noted that response from authorities might include the use of tear gas , which may have short- and long-term health effects.

“Do not select hotels within proximity of potential flashpoints,” Moro said. “Teargas can travel a considerable distance and make remaining in affected nearby hotels very uncomfortable.”

Pack comfortable shoes.

Comfy footwear options are a must on vacation for a number of reasons, and you should add potential demonstrations and labor disruptions to that list.

“It’s a smart idea to wear comfortable shoes when there is an anticipated strike,” Moro said. “It could be a long walk back to your hotel if you can’t find alternative travel accommodations.”

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travel strike days

How a government shutdown could upend holiday travel

WASHINGTON — Transportation Security Administration officers and air traffic controllers across the country could be working without pay during the Thanksgiving travel rush as the U.S. heads toward a government shutdown days before a record number of air passengers are expected at U.S. airports.

The federal government will shut down and be unable to continue paying its workers starting Saturday unless Congress passes a new funding bill. While airport security and air traffic controllers will still be required to show up for work without pay, past shutdowns have led to increases in absenteeism, which could be a recipe for flight delays and extreme security lines for holiday travelers. 

The air travel workforce is already stretched thin, with TSA officers and air traffic controllers working mandatory overtime amid staffing shortages and a record number of air travelers. The financial uncertainty of not being paid could put even more strain on the system, making it difficult for some to afford the child care and transportation needed to get to work, while others could be forced to take on second jobs. 

“If we’re going to shut down, it’s going to be ugly. I’m very concerned about the mental state of the employees and how long they’re willing to endure this government shutdown,” said an official with the union representing TSA employees, Johnny Jones, a transportation security officer at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. “The No. 1 thing that they’re thinking about is that next paycheck.”

Follow live updates on the government shutdown bill vote

The TSA expects an increase in travelers over the Thanksgiving holiday period, with the busiest day being the Sunday after Thanksgiving, when a record 3 million people are expected to fly.

House Republicans will try again to pass a short-term budget this week, but with just five legislative days left until the deadline, there is little room for error. Over the weekend, House Republicans put forth an unusual approach to averting a shutdown by proposing several spending bills needed to keep the government open into January to bring together opposing Republican factions. 

During the last shutdown, which began on Dec. 22, 2018, travelers faced longer security screening lines after TSA officer call-outs increased as much as threefold at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and the absentee rate among airport screeners peaked at 10%, compared to the average 3% absence rate, according to a report by the research firm Tourism Economics.

Biden administration officials have begun warning about the toll a shutdown could have on employees and the ripple effect it could have on travelers.

“The last government shutdown in 2019 was 35 days, and when you go 35 days without a source of income, that’s very, very hard,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in an interview on NBC’s "TODAY" show. “It’s hard to put gas in your car. It’s hard to pay for parking, hard to pay for child care. So the longer a shutdown goes, the bigger the impact on us.” 

During the last shutdown, airports across the Northeast experienced major delays after an increased number of air traffic controllers called out sick. Hours after the air travel disruptions, the White House announced a deal to reopen the government. 

This time, the impact on air travel could be felt much sooner and more acutely given how thinly stretched the air travel workforce already is, said Joe McCartin, the executive director of the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor at Georgetown University, who has studied past air travel labor disputes. 

“The understaffing at air traffic control facilities is significantly worse now than it was in 2019, so you already have air traffic controllers who are working under more pressure. A lot of them are working mandatory six-day weeks,” McCartin said. “They are already under stress, so if you were to add to that anything like what happened in 2019, where you have an extended shutdown where people are not being paid, and if that also coincides with the holiday season, I think it’s a very tenuous situation.”

Federal Aviation Administration and TSA employees are prohibited from going on strike or organizing sickouts under federal law, but McCartin said nothing prevents individual employees from calling out sick. 

Rail travel could also feel the effects of a shutdown. Amtrak employees will continue to be paid, but during past shutdowns, some Federal Railroad Administration personnel have been furloughed and employees with the Office of Railroad Safety worked without pay.

If the government shuts down, federal workers will receive the paychecks they are scheduled to receive through Saturday, an administration official said. After that, workers wouldn’t receive any additional pay until Congress passes a budget. In past shutdowns, Congress has appropriated back pay to reimburse federal employees for the period where they weren’t paid.  

TSA workers and union leaders held a rally outside Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Friday calling on Congress to act and prevent a shutdown. 

“This is the busiest airport in the world, and the [transportation security officers] here work around the clock to make sure that all of these travelers reach their destination safely,” Tatishka Thomas, a union leader with the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents TSA agents, said during the rally. “The fact that certain members of Congress are willing to play chicken with the pay of these unsung heroes is unconscionable.”

travel strike days

Shannon Pettypiece is senior policy reporter for NBC News digital.

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passengers silhouetted in a train carriage

Aslef’s final strike day disrupts rail services in south and east England

Cancellations or reduced service on many routes on Monday including commuter lines into London

Rail passengers on many routes in the south and east of England including key commuter lines into London can expect significant disruption on Monday as train drivers stage the last strike in three days of action.

Aslef union members began a 24-hour strike at eight operating companies on Monday: c2c, Gatwick Express, Greater Anglia, Great Northern, Southeastern, Southern, South Western Railway and Thameslink. The action is part of a long-running dispute over pay and conditions that began in 2022.

Great Northern, c2c and the Gatwick Express have confirmed that they will not be running any services across the day.

Southern will run only one shuttle service throughout the day, calling at Gatwick airport and London Victoria only, while Thameslink will be operate two shuttle services, one calling at London St Pancras, Luton Airport Parkway and Luton only, and one between London King’s Cross and Cambridge only.

Southeastern said it would be running a limited service, with only 29 of the 165 stations it serves open. Greater Anglia will also have much-reduced services, running only hourly trains between London Liverpool Street and Southend, Norwich and Stansted Airport.

South Western has said it will continue to operate an extremely limited timetable, running on a small number of lines to and from London Waterloo. All services would stop by 7pm and it warned passengers to travel only if absolutely necessary.

All companies have said the strikes could lead to some services on Tuesday being disrupted.

The strikes coincide with an overtime ban called by the union at 16 operators across England on Monday and Tuesday after similar action between Thursday and Saturday.

It is expected that ban will increase the likelihood of short-notice cancellations and disruption. Train drivers in Scotland and Wales are not involved in the dispute or the industrial action, but cross-border rail services could be disrupted.

The strikes on the remaining eight operating companies follow two days of action on other parts of the network on Friday and Saturday.

In a video posted on Aslef’s X account on Friday, the general secretary of the union, Mick Whelan, said: “As we’ve seen from the 17 pay deals we have done, and the recent resolution on London Underground shows that when people come to the table there is a resolution, there is a way forward and we are willing to find one.

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“It’s now time for the government and employers to come back to the table, to work with us to resolve this long-running dispute.”

A spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators, said it was sorry the strikes called by Aslef’s leadership risked disrupting journeys.

“While we are doing all we can to keep trains running and we will work with our industry partners to keep as many trains running as possible, unfortunately there will be reduced services between Thursday 4 April to Tuesday 9 April,” it added. “Our advice is to check before you travel and follow the latest travel information.”

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “Aslef is the only rail union continuing to strike, targeting passengers and preventing their own members from voting on the pay offer that remains on the table.”

  • Rail strikes
  • Rail industry
  • Trade unions
  • Industrial action

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Rail Ombudsman

Case Study: Travel during Industrial Action (in light of June 2022 strikes)

The Rail Ombudsman has worked through different periods of disruption to rail travel during industrial action. Some specific examples and learning points are noted below:

  • Consumer A had pre-purchased a train ticket for travel to an airport station. A then arrived at the station to find no services running due to strikes. A advised that they were travelling to catch a pre-booked flight from the airport and therefore took a taxi for which they were claiming compensation.
  • Consumer B held an Advance Single ticket purchased for Sunday travel in August 2021 to return from a holiday. They were informed that the first leg of their return journey (with the RSP) was cancelled and that no trains had been running on a Sunday for several months, due to industrial action. As a result of this, they incurred additional costs for a hotel stay and meals, to enable travel home the following day. B also claimed for additional travel costs because new tickets were purchased for part of the journey the next day.
  • Consumer C purchased Anytime Returns for travel with that RSP, a month in advance. C needed to be back by a particular time due to other commitments. C stated that their party returned early from an additional part of their trip because they became aware of strikes on the outward journey, and returned the day before they had planned to resulting in additional costs for a hotel night and the taxi costs to get to the hotel. C further claimed for unused car hire costs and accommodation costs lost due to travelling back a day early.
  • Consumer D complained that their return journey was cancelled due to strikes and therefore, they had to cancel their entire trip. The Consumer evidenced that that were unable to claim a refund from their prebooked hotel and were seeking compensation for this. The RSP refunded train tickets but advised that ticket acceptance had been arranged, so it was possible for the Consumer to complete their journey.
  • Consumer E commenced travel to an airport to catch a flight. The service terminated prematurely and the Consumer called the RSP’s helpline to obtain advice about onward travel. The Consumer stated that they were told to source alternative travel and retain the taxi receipt to obtain a refund. The RSP offered rail vouchers to the value of the Consumer’s taxi prior to Ombudsman escalation.
  • Consumer F held a First Class Advance Single ticket, but arrived at the station to find their service was cancelled due to strike action. The Consumer boarded the next service departing half an hour later, and arrived 30 minutes later than scheduled on a service with on first class available on it. The Consumer was seeking compensation for being late for an evening meal.

The Responses

Delay Repay or refunds were generally provided where due, prior to Rail Ombudsman escalation. In other cases, consumers’ claims were transferred to the appropriate rail provider. Some RSPs did offer full or partial compensation for additional costs, whilst others rejected them on the basis that there were notices warning of possible strike action and amended timetables were in place.

What the Ombudsman did

In every case, the Ombudsman will try to find agreement between the parties.

Where the RSP providing the service was also the retailer, the RSPs were asked for evidence of information provided during the booking process. In all cases, evidence was reviewed about information available before, during and after travel about industrial action. Where relevant, evidence of amended timetables was also requested, and independent data about train schedules would be considered alongside this.

The ticket terms

The starting point in considering entitlement is the National Rail Conditions of Travel, which states:

27.2 If the replacement is at short notice and you cannot complete your journey because we are unable to transport your luggage, articles, animals and/or cycles by road vehicle, and you therefore decided not to travel, you will be entitled to claim a refund of your Ticket(s) under Conditions 30.1 – 30.4 without any administration charge for the journey…

28.2 Where disruption prevents you from completing the journey for which your Ticket is valid and is being used, any Train Company will, where it reasonably can, provide you with alternative means of travel to your destination, or if necessary, provide overnight accommodation for you…

Conditions 30.1 –30.4 cover all Tickets other than Season Tickets, and also apply if you have begun your journey but are unable to complete it due to a delay to, or cancellation of, your service. In such cases, you are permitted to return to your point of origin and still get a refund.

Some Passenger Charters do advise that timetables are subject to change at short notice and note the RSP website as the best resource for information and/or National Rail Enquiries.

Booking confirmations will provide basic ticket information, and will direct consumers to the terms of the ticket, but may not have specific information relating to strike action and/or other possible disruption.

Mediation outcomes

In Consumer B’s case, the RSP offered and the Consumer accepted a contribution to their costs. Most cases required Adjudication despite some offers of partial compensation being put forward.

Adjudications

Where cases required Adjudication, the Rail Ombudsman reviewed the evidence provided by the RSP, the Consumer, in addition to online public information.

In some cases awards were made due to the following:

  • Lack of evidence to support information provided by the RSP to evidence that there was a published amended timetable, combined with limited options provided to the Consumer for alternative travel. For example, evidenced non-refundable hotel costs were awarded.
  • However, an offer of National Rail Vouchers was endorsed as an award, due to the lack of evidenced information available to the Consumer about alternative travel options at the time.
  • Consumer F was awarded the difference between standard and first class travel because they used alternative routes, but First Class was declassified.

In other cases, there was no award:

  • The Consumer asserted that they should not have been sold a ticket for travel during strike action. However, it was considered reasonable to sell tickets for travel a few weeks later, because there would be no way of knowing when the strikes would end, particularly as it was noted in the news that strikes were due to conclude at the end of that month, thus demonstrating that such strike action on the date of travel was not necessarily confirmed prior to purchase.
  • The Rail Ombudsman would expect certain information to be provided about strike action when purchasing a ticket. The RSP did advise what information they would have provided on their website if retailing that ticket, but as the tickets were purchased from a third party, we could not make the RSP directly responsible for retail information in this case.
  • The RSP retailer provided evidence of information displayed on their website since strikes had begun – this included notifications of the strikes, a dedicated strike webpage and banners on the homepage, and other pop-ups during the booking process.
  • If the Consumer was clearly aware of the timetable changes prior to the date of travel supported by other evidence of that amended timetable, the Rail Ombudsman found that the Consumer was able to use their ticket in line with the terms on which it was issued.
  • Insufficient evidence of an authorised taxi which was arguably not required.

Learning for the Rail Industry

The lack of information provided on booking confirmations was raised as part of the evidence in some cases arising from industrial action. The Rail Ombudsman recommended that the industry considers the format for booking confirmations to consider if the check before travel requirement could be made more explicit, and where possible, if specific notifications could be included as standard, such as strike action warnings.

Some claims for losses were blocked based on strike action alone, and it was recommended that there must always be consideration of wider rights under the Consumer Rights Act – such as provision of information when purchasing and travelling.

The industry expresses understanding of how important it is to provide timely and accurate information prior to and during strike action, regardless of the Consumer’s method of purchase.

Consumer learning

The Rail Ombudsman is unable to look into complaints about the strike action itself, but can review any related consumer issues.

Purchase considerations – If strike action is ongoing, tickets for travel on affected lines can still be sold, if a service is still available in the timetable – this may apply for tickets purchased in advance. If all services are suspended, and no other Operator covers that journey, then journey planners should be showing as no fares available for the selected journey. The affected Operator affected provides updated information to retailers, in accordance with industry processes.  If a ticket in purchased in-person a ticket office clerk would generally be expected to advise if industrial action may affect a journey.

Key information source(s) – The primary source for updated information is journey planners, as booking confirmations do not always contain all travel warnings. Timetables can be subject to change, regardless of strike action. The ‘ Published Timetable of the Day’   can be changed up to 22:00 the previous day, in line with the National Rail Conditions of Travel.  Any Delay Repay is measured against this, as opposed to any timetable in place when purchasing a ticket.

Evidence – As in previous cases studies, the Rail Ombudsman urges consumers to always retain evidence of costs; and where possible, seek advice from staff at stations or via the telephone or other media before taking an alternative route. If a taxi has not been authorised, it may not be paid so consumers are advised to ensure they get evidence of any such pre-authorisation, where applicable and possible.

Assistance bookings – If travelling with prebooked assistance, and no information about alternative travel is forthcoming, then consumers are advised to contact the RSP with whom they are due to travel with first, as it is the relevant station and RSP’s responsibility to advise during disruption. It is noted that specific information was provided by most service provider websites about assistance bookings during strikes in June 2022. For example, the Rail Ombudsman has noted that Consumers affected by the June 2020 strikes were advised in June that RSPs would be in touch directly with all affected assistance bookings and we would evaluate to what extent this was the case in any claim brought to the Rail Ombudsman on this point.

Telephone: 0330 094 0362 Textphone/WhatsApp: 0330 094 0363 Email: [email protected] X: @RailOmbudsman Post: FREEPOST – RAIL OMBUDSMAN

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travel strike days

December train strikes: Dates and services affected

C ommuters face another wave of strikes and rail disruption starting this week, as train drivers prepare to go on strike again in the run-up to Christmas.

The disruption is the latest blow to travellers who have been hit with 18 months of disruption since unions began their pay dispute with the Government and train operating companies.

Here is everything you need to know about the next wave of industrial action:

When are the train strikes and which rail companies are affected?

Unlike previous strikes, different operators will walk out on different days across the country during the next wave of action.

The walkouts will be held on the following dates:

Saturday December 2 – EMR and LNER 

Sunday December 3 – Avanti West Coast, Chiltern, Great Northern Thameslink and WMT 

Tuesday December 5 – C2C and Greater Anglia 

Wednesday December 6 – Southeastern, Southern/Gatwick Express, the SWR main line and depot, and on the Island Line 

Thursday December 7 – CrossCountry and GWR 

Friday December 8 – Northern and TPT

December 1-9 – All Aslef members will refuse to work overtime from Friday, December 1 to Saturday, December 9.

I thought train strikes had been sorted. Why are there more?

Aslef has held 14 one-day strikes during the 18-month dispute, causing huge disruption to services across the country.

Strikes have also been held since June 2022 by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union. However, they are now voting on a deal aimed at resolving their dispute.

The deal will see the union suspend industrial action until at least April in exchange for a backdated pay offer which could see all members receive a lump sum of at least £1,750 before the Christmas break.

Advice for travelling during train strikes

National Rail has yet to give an update on the latest strikes but has previously warned passengers to expect “significant disruption” on strike days.

National Rail has recommended that passengers:

  • Use its Journey Planner. Passengers should check close to the time of each strike date
  • Use its Live Trains page for the most up-to-date information about arrivals and departures
  • Plan ahead and check before you travel. This includes checking your entire journey, especially if you’re travelling on the first and last trains of strike days

Recommended

Train strike refunds: you could claim hundreds of pounds even if you didn’t try to travel

Why are Aslef striking?

The Aslef union said the new walkouts will “ratchet up the pressure” on train companies and the Government to give train drivers their first pay rise in more than four years.

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said: “We are determined to win this dispute and get a significant pay rise for train drivers who have not had an increase since 2019, while the cost of living, in that time, has soared.

“The Transport Secretary, who has gone missing in action during this dispute, says we should put the offer to our members.

“What the minister apparently fails to understand is that, since the Rail Delivery Group’s (RDG) risible offer in April, we have received overwhelming mandates, on enormous turnouts, for more industrial action.

“Our members have spoken and we know what they think. Every time they vote – and they have voted overwhelmingly – for strike action in pursuit of a proper pay rise it is a clear rejection of the offer that was made in April.

“The RDG’s offer – a land grab for all our terms and conditions – was made in the full knowledge that it couldn’t, and wouldn’t, be accepted.”

Aslef said it had successfully struck pay deals with 14 companies in the last 12 months, including freight firms, open-access operators, Eurostar, and passenger companies in Scotland and Wales where transport issues are devolved.

It added: “This is a dispute in England made at Westminster by the Tory Government.

“We gave the train operating companies (TOCs) a way out of this dispute which they chose not to accept because the Government interfered.

“We suggested a significant across-the-board increase for all drivers, at all the companies involved, to deal with the cost-of-living crisis.

“Other matters, we said, could then be dealt with company by company because terms and conditions are different at each company.

“Uncoupling the carriages, as it were, would have given the TOCs and the Government a way out, and given us an opportunity to deal, at company council level, with any changes and productivity they want.

“Some TOCs have Sundays in the working week, some don’t. One size does not, cannot and will not, fit all.

“We will continue to take industrial action until the train companies – and/or the Government – sits down and negotiates with us in good faith.”

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Union general secretary Mick Whelan says Aslef is ‘determined to win this dispute and get a significant pay rise for train drivers’ - Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

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April train strikes 2024: How will Monday’s train drivers’ walk-out hit passengers?

In three days of ‘rolling’ walk-outs, most of the train operators involved will cancel all services, article bookmarked.

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National rail strikes by train drivers have entered their 22nd month with a series of “rolling” walk-outs, one region at a time, during early April.

Members of the Aslef union have halted thousands of trains on 5, 6 and 8 April. The aim is to disrupt services on the 14 rail firms in England that are controlled by the UK government and represented by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG). Rolling strikes cause maximum disruption for minimum loss of pay.

In addition, five days of overtime bans will cause further cancellations.

The previous national industrial action by train drivers, comprising an overtime ban and rolling regional walk-outs, hit for nine days from 29 January to 6 February .

Industrial action by Aslef in a dispute over pay and working arrangements began in July 2022. The union is demanding a no-strings pay award, but rail firms – directed by ministers – say any increase is contingent on radical reforms to working practices in order to reduce public subsidies.

During the dispute, hundreds of millions of journeys have been cancelled. Billions of pounds have been lost to the UK economy – particularly hospitality businesses – and taxpayers are pumping cash into an increasingly decrepit and unreliable railway to the tune of £90 per second on top of the normal subsidy.

The quarrel has become increasingly bitter, with no sign of any progress towards a settlement.

Caught in the middle of a seemingly intractable dispute: the passenger. In a snap social media poll for The Independent that garnered 2,142 responses, one in three passengers say they will permanently travel less after the industrial action finally ends.

In addition to the latest walk-outs by rail workers, commuters in the capital were fearing two days of strikes by Aslef members who drive trains for the London Underground . But days before the first planned walk-out, the action was called off .

However, Aslef has called an additional strike and overtime ban at the UK’s flagship train operator, LNER, for later in April.

For passengers, these are the key questions and answers.

Which rail firms are involved?

Aslef is in dispute with the 14 train operators that are contracted by the UK government to provide rail services. They are:

Intercity operators:

Avanti West Coast

CrossCountry

East Midlands Railway

Great Western Railway ( GWR )

TransPennine Express

Southeast England commuter operators:

Greater Anglia

GTR (Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern, Thameslink)

Southeastern

South Western Railway (including the Island Line on the Isle of Wight)

Operators focusing on the Midlands and north of England:

Chiltern Railways

Northern Trains

West Midlands Railway (including London Northwestern Railway)

When are the train drivers walking out?

Drivers belonging to the Aslef union will strike in the following pattern:

Friday 5 April

Avanti West Coast, East Midlands Railway, West Midlands Railway and CrossCountry. The aim is to cause maximum disruption on key intercity lines as well as Midland commuter services.

To further complicate matters, commuters on the Great Western line have faced rush hour travel disruption after a freight train derailed between Reading and London Paddington , with some services cancelled and the remainder delayed.

Saturday 6 April

Chiltern, GWR, LNER, Northern and TransPennine Express. This strike is designed to hit rail passengers in the north and west of England, as well as the day’s football programme. In the Premier League, it will hit Newcastle fans travelling to Fulham in London.

Monday 8 April

C2C, Greater Anglia, Great Northern, Thameslink, Southeastern, Southern, Gatwick Express, South Western Railway.

What are the predicted effects at each operator?

The Night Riviera sleeper train and the Gatwick Express will be cancelled throughout the industrial action period.

For other operators, these are the likely service patterns .

The four train operators – Avanti West Coast, East Midlands Railway, West Midlands Railway and CrossCountry – cancelled all services on the day.

“Avanti West Coast services on the days either side of the strike will also be affected,” the West Coast main line operator said.

Chiltern Railways warned people who are thinking of switching to its London-Birmingham service: “Essential travel only, due to strike action on other operators.”

Chiltern, Northern and TransPennine Express have cancelled all services.

LNER is running a skeleton service on core lines between around 7am and 7pm. Its main Edinburgh-Newcastle-York-London line will have at least one train an hour, with some additional trains on the southern part of the network.

GWR will run no long-distance trains, but will connect Reading with Oxford and Basingstoke, as well as a link from Bristol to Cardiff and some branch routes in Devon and Cornwall.

CrossCountry is not on strike but warns its services are expected to be extremely busy, and urges prospective passengers: “Please only travel if essential.”

Sunday 7 April

Although no industrial action is taking place, planned Network Rail engineering projects will hamper many passengers hoping to travel on the Sunday to dodge the strikes.

Avanti West Coast says: “No trains will serve Penrith, Carlisle, Lockerbie, Motherwell, Glasgow Central, Haymarket or Edinburgh, and only a limited number of services will serve Lancaster and Oxenholme. All remaining trains will start / terminate at Preston.”

Northern will run rail replacement buses between Halifax and Huddersfield.

The CrossCountry line between Derby and Burton-on-Trent is closed all weekend, with rail replacement buses and train diversions.

Greater Anglia will run to and from London Liverpool Street to Stansted airport, Southend, Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich.

Southern will run a shuttle service between London Victoria and Gatwick airport.

Thameslink will run a shuttle service between London St Pancras and Luton (town and airport stations).

Great Northern will run a shuttle service between London King’s Cross and Cambridge.

South Western Railway will run between London Waterloo, Woking and Guildford, with some other suburban services likely.

Southeastern is urging passengers not to travel, but will run services between London St Pancras and Ashford on the high-speed line; Charing Cross and Orpington; and London Bridge and Dartford.

C2C has cancelled all services.

What about the overtime ban?

Members are also refusing to work their rest days from Thursday 4 to Saturday 6 April and from Monday 8 to Tuesday 9 April. As many rail firms depend on drivers working overtime, hundreds – possibly thousands – of trains will be cancelled.

Avanti West Coast and West Midlands Railway have already said a reduced timetable will run on each day of the strike ban.

GWR says the overtime ban “is likely to cause some short-notice alterations and cancellations, especially at weekends or late at night”.

Which rail firms are not involved?

Some publicly funded train operators will run normally: ScotRail, Transport for Wales, Transport for London (including the Elizabeth line) and Merseyrail.

“Open-access” operators on the East Coast main line – Grand Central, Hull Trains and Lumo – are unaffected. But many of their services will be crowded on days of industrial action. They duplicate journeys of strike-hit companies, including LNER, TransPennine Express, CrossCountry and Northern.

What is at stake in the dispute?

The train drivers demand a pay rise to reflect high levels of inflation since they last won a pay award; Aslef says some members have not had an increase for five years.

But the government insists that even a modest pay increase is contingent on radical changes to long-standing working arrangements in order to reduce costs – and the huge subsidies the railway is currently receiving from the taxpayer.

Since the pandemic, travel patterns have changed. Ticket revenue is about one-fifth down on pre-Covid levels. As taxpayers will foot the eventual bill for the train drivers’ pay rise, the Treasury as well as the Department for Transport will sign off any deal.

Ministers believe train drivers’ terms and conditions are part of the problem. To keep costs down, they must accept changes to how they work, such as making Sunday part of the working week everywhere.

On 27 April 2023 the Rail Delivery Group offered a pay increase of 4 plus 4 per cent over two years covering the 2022 and 2023 pay awards – subject to a host of changes on terms and conditions, covering a wide range of issues including driver training, Sunday working, sick pay and new technology.

The union say this is completely unacceptable. The train drivers will negotiate on changes, but only after they get a decent no-strings pay offer on top of their current pay.

They believe the money will be found to meet their demands, as it always has been in the past. Aslef has also always “sold” reforms to working arrangements for an extra few per cent on their pay and does intend to change that process.

Meanwhile, the corrosion in confidence among travellers continues, with no rail passenger able to plan journeys more than two weeks ahead – that being the minimum notice the union must give for industrial action.

What does the union say?

The general secretary of Aslef, Mick Whelan, said: “Our members voted overwhelmingly – yet again – for strike action. Those votes show – yet again – a clear rejection by train drivers of the ridiculous offer put to us in April last year by the Rail Delivery Group which knew that offer would be rejected because a land grab for all the terms and conditions we have negotiated over the years would never be accepted by our members.

“Since then train drivers have voted, time and again, to take action in pursuit of a pay rise. That’s why Mark Harper, the transport secretary, is being disingenuous when he says that offer should have been put to members. Drivers wouldn’t vote for industrial action, again and again and again, if they thought that was a good offer. They don’t. That offer was dead in the water in April last year – and Mr Harper knows that.

“We asked Mr Harper, or his deputy, the rail minister Huw Merriman, to come and meet us. We asked the RDG and the TOCs to come and talk to us. We said, ‘Let’s sit around the table and negotiate.’ Because you say you don’t want any more industrial action, and we don’t want to disrupt the rail network. But the Tories and the TOCs [train operating companies] have given us no choice.

“We have given the government every opportunity to come to the table but it is now clear they do not want to resolve this dispute. They are happy for it go on and on. Because we are not going to give up.

“Many members have now not had a single penny increase in pay for half a decade.”

What do the employers and government say?

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “Aslef is the only rail union continuing to strike, targeting passengers and preventing their own members from voting on the pay offer that remains on the table.

“Having resolved disputes with all other rail unions, the Transport Secretary and Rail Minister have ensured that a pay offer is on the table – taking train drivers’ average salaries from £60,000 up to £65,000.”

A spokesperson for Rail Delivery Group, representing the train operators, 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 £54 million 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.”

What does the Labour Party say?

Louise Haigh, Labour’s shadow transport secretary, said: “It is a staggering dereliction of duty that the transport secretary hasn’t got around the table with the unions to try to resolve it since the Christmas before last.

“Labour will take an unashamedly different approach to the Tories, and will work with both sides to reach a deal in the interests of passengers and workers. If the transport secretary took this sensible approach then perhaps we wouldn’t still be having strikes on our railways.”

How much has all the disruption cost?

According to the RDG, industrial action from June 2022 up until mid-January 2024 cost the rail sector around £775m in lost revenue. That does not include the impact of the most recent strikes and overtime bans, which probably add a further £100m to the losses.

UKHospitality estimates the lost business for places to eat, drink and stay amounts to almost £5 billion. Kate Nicholls, the organisation’s chief executive, says: “Ongoing strike action hurts businesses, prevents people from getting to work and significantly erodes confidence in the rail network.”

In addition, there is an unknowable loss of revenue from passengers who have adjusted their lifestyles or found alternative forms of transport; businesses that have stopped making trips and are using online communication instead; and people trimming back on travel because of the lack of certainty.

What about the new minimum service levels law?

Legislation now allows the transport secretary to stipulate minimum service levels (MSLs) on strike days amounting to 40 per cent of the normal service. The government says the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023 aims “to ensure that the public can continue to access services that they rely on, during strike action”.

No train operator is seeking to impose the new law on the train drivers’ union. LNER said it might do so earlier this year, and opened consultations. Aslef immediately called a separate five-day strike on LNER alone. Then the train operator said it would not require drivers to work, and the strike was called off.

The Transport Select Committee has previously warned of potential unintended consequences of the legislation. The Conservative chair, Iain Stewart, said: “There is a risk of MSLs worsening worker-employer relations and that, as a result, MSLs could end up making services less reliable.”

The minimum service level rules do not apply to union bans on non-contractual rest-day working – so there would be no benefit in imposing the law when an overtime ban is in force.

What is the LNER-specific dispute about?

On Friday 19 and Sunday 21 April, Aslef members working for Aslef will refuse overtime. On Saturday 20 April, they will strike. The union has accused the rail firm of acting in bad faith. Nigel Roebuck, full-time organiser in the northeast of England, accused ministers of “leaning on the company to persuade every driver manager and driver instructor to work on strike days; effectively to provide a minimum service level without invoking the legislation”.

The Department for Transport for a response.

An LNER spokesperson said: “Our priority focus remains on minimising disruption to customers. We continue to encourage Aslef to work with us to find a way to end this long running dispute.”

Some cancellations are likely on 19 April, and many more on 20 and 21 April.

Anything else on the strike agenda?

Members of the main rail union, the RMT, who work for CrossCountry are striking on Saturday 13 April in a dispute over recognition.

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  • Travel Information

Strike action travel information

This page will have all the latest travel information for any upcoming strikes..

Last updated: 08/04/2024

Upcoming travel disruption

Thu 4 April

Fri 5 April*

Sat 6 April*

Sun 7 April

Train icon

Mon 8 April*

Tue 9 April

Wed 10 April

Clock

*Other train companies are affected by strike action on these dates. More information can be found below.

**Engineering work affecting services to and from Scotland. Find out more

An overtime ban is also planned from 4 April to 9 April, read more below.

The strike affecting Avanti West Coast on Friday 5 April has now concluded, but industrial action and an overtime ban is still impacting several train companies on Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 April.

During this period, we recommend you check before you travel, as the overtime ban's impact will vary from route to route, and your entire journey across multiple train operators may be affected. As a result of this industrial action, we are running a reduced timetable on 8 and 9 April.

If you booked tickets to travel on strike days before the industrial action was announced on 20 March, you can claim a full, fee-free refund from your point of purchase. Alternatively, if you have pre-booked tickets for strike days you can use these on alternative travel dates. Find out more below.

To minimise the number of people disrupted, we suspend ticket sales for our services on strike days as soon as they're announced. Online journey planners are now all updated to show no Avanti West Coast trains on Friday 5 April and the resulting amended timetables for 4, 6, 8 and 9 April.

Please continue to check our website and those of other operators for updates.

Below are the dates and train companies affected by ASLEF’s current strike action. If you were due to travel with any of these operators, we recommend checking their website using the links below.

Friday 5 April:  Avanti West Coast ,  East Midlands Railway ,  London Northwestern Railway ,  West Midlands Railway , and  CrossCountry Saturday 6 April:  Chiltern Railways ,  Great Western Railway ,  LNER ,  Northern ,  TransPennine Express  and Heathrow Express

Monday 8 April:  c2c ,  Greater Anglia ,  Stansted Express ,  Great Northern ,  Thameslink ,  Southeastern ,  Southern ,  Gatwick Express ,  South Western Railway  mainline and depot drivers, and Island Line

Your ticket options

Click here for refund information and ticket flexibility options, claim a full refund.

Customers who booked tickets to travel on strike days before the industrial action was announced on 20 March can claim a full, fee-free refund from their point of purchase.

If you bought your ticket from the Avanti West Coast website or app, simply fill in this form within 28 days of your scheduled journey date, being sure to include your booking reference and/or a copy of your ticket. You will get a full refund with no admin fee.

If you bought your ticket from another retailer’s app or website, such as Trainline, please visit their website to request your refund.

If you bought your ticket from a station, head back there with your ticket for a full refund with no admin fee.

Travel flexibly

As industrial action is affecting a variety of train companies between 5 April and 8 April, easements have been agreed so that the date validity of your pre-booked ticket (bought before the industrial action was announced on 20 March) is now more flexible.

Tickets dated between Friday 5 April and Monday 8 April can be used any time from Thursday 4 April up until Wednesday 10 April.

You don’t need to make any changes to your ticket in order to travel flexibly – our onboard and station teams will be ready to accept your tickets as outlined above. However, these easements do not include London Underground services.

Be sure to check before you travel on the alternative date you choose, especially if your planned journey involves more than one train company. Simply pop your journey details into our Live Train Status tool or visit other operators’ websites for further advice:

Strike day timetables 

Here’s a summary of our timetable changes as a result of the industrial action, but please use our updated online journey planner to check your entire journey. 

- On Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 April , due to industrial action in the form of an overtime ban, we’re running a reduced timetable. These changes are mostly on our Manchester and Birmingham routes, but removals have been spread throughout the day to keep people moving.

If you’ve already booked Passenger Assist for a strike day, we’ll conta c t you to discuss how you might want to change or rearrange your journey. To find out more or get in touch with our Passenger Assist team,  click here .

How will I know if my journey is affected?

travel strike days

We always try to contact anyone impacted, who has booked with us via our website and app, directly via email but you should always check your entire journey before you travel for the latest updates, especially when travelling across multiple train operators.

I’m a Season ticket holder – how will I be compensated?

Normal refund conditions apply for Season ticket holders, including Flexi Season tickets, if you no longer wish to use your ticket. You can request a refund from where you bought it.

If you do travel using your Season ticket and the strike action means your journey with Avanti West Coast is delayed by 15 minutes or more, you can claim Delay Repay compensation within 28 days of the journey, here .

If the Season ticket you hold is monthly or longer, or if you have an activated days’ worth of travel on a Flexi Season ticket, you will be able to claim 100% Delay Repay compensation for strike days or days with timetable disruption.

Just one leg of my return journey is affected by the strike – can I still have a refund?

If one leg of your planned return journey is scheduled to be on a strike date, you’re able to take advantage of our ticket flexibility and refund options for both legs. That’s whether your ticket is a Return and either portion is affected, or if you’ve booked two Single tickets to make up a return journey.

Customers with tickets with either leg or portion booked on a strike date can claim a full refund from their point of purchase. Find out more, here

Strike dates: Full list of rail, air travel, bus, bin collection and other walkouts threatening summer plans

Widespread industrial action is threatening britain's infrastructure in a 'summer of discontent'.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 06: People wait at bus tation after 4,000 subway workers went on strike over job losses, disagreements over working conditions and pensions in London, United Kingdom on June 06, 2022. Due to the strike at numerous metro stations in the city, long queues formed at bus stops. (Photo by Rasid Necati Aslim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Widespread industrial action is threatening Britain’s infrastructure as rail, tube and tram workers will stage a mass walkout later this month following warnings over a “summer of discontent”.

Other transport services are in jeopardy as bus drivers in Yorkshire are striking indefinitely, while British Airways airport staff at Heathrow are currently holding a ballot on whether to walk out over the summer.

Essential services are also at risk, as British Council workers will strike next week and Scottish council workers are balloting for industrial actions that could shut schools and nurseries due to what employees describe as “Thatcher-style cuts”.

Post Office workers will walk out this Saturday, BT staff will be balloted next week, and bin workers across the country are also threatening to go on strike.

i has put together a comprehensive guide to all the confirmed and potential strike action this summer.

Rail strikes by RMT union workers

The largest rail strike in a generation is due to take place later this month, with train, tube and tram services running at a severely limited capacity.

Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) workers will strike on 21 June, 23 June and 25 June – choosing alternate days to ensure maximum disruption. A reduced timetable is expected to cover the entire week, with just 20 per cent of services running on strike days.

More than 50,000 workers across Network Rail and 13 out of 15 train operators will go on strike over pay and potential job cuts . Just Govia Thameslink Railway, which includes Southern and the Gatwick Express, and Great Northern voted only for action short of a strike.

Industry bosses warned that the walkout is “as bad as it gets” for rail freight and that supply chains will be impacted despite contingency plans to run freight trains during the daytime.

RMT has not confirmed any further strike dates and says it is still in negotiations with employers.

A spokesperson for the company said: “We don’t want to cause anyone disruption, but industrial action has to be effective if it is going to make the rail bosses sit up and come to a negotiated settlement with the RMT.

“All those affected by our proposed strike action should direct their anger and frustration at the government and the rail industry for failing to give railway workers a decent pay rise and proposing to cut thousands of jobs on the network.”

Train and tram strikes by Aslef union workers

The Aslef union announced on 9 June that train drivers on Hull Trains, Greater Anglia and Croydon Tramlink will also strike later in the month in a separate dispute over pay.

Drivers on Greater Anglia will walk out on 23 June, while Hull Trains drivers will strike on 26 June. Croydon Tramlink drivers will walk out on 28 and 29 June, and also on 13 and 14 July.

Potential train strikes by TSSA union workers

The Transport and Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) – representing non-driving staff – served notice of an industrial action ballot on Thursday 9 June, meaning hundreds of workers for Avanti West Coast could strike over pay, conditions and job security.

It emerged on Friday 10 June that TSSA is also balloting workers on CrossCountry, East Midlands and West Midlands trains in action that could disrupt the Commonwealth Games in July.

The union has also served a notice to 6,000 Network Rail staff, giving them the chance to walk out over pay, work conditions and job security.

Network Rail workers will be able to vote from 20 June to 11 July and they could strike from 25 July in the event of a yes vote.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes warned of a “summer of discontent”, as the union plans to co-ordinate action across the rail network to ensure maximum disruption.

The union warned that a strike in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham could disrupt the sporting event, due to take place from 28 July to 8 August.

Tube strike

The RMT has also announced another 24-hour strike on the London Underground on 21 June, coinciding with the three-day rail walkout. This comes following a 24-hour strike on Monday 6 June, which saw 4,000 workers strike.

British Airways airport staff

Britons are already facing a summer of travel chaos at airports, with cancelled passenger flights, long delays at airports and lost baggage.

This could worsen over the summer months as hundreds of Heathrow check-in staff working for British Airways have voted in favour of holding a formal industrial action ballot.

The strike ballot is open to GMB and Unite union members from 7 to 23 June, and will give workers the opportunity to decide whether to strike over the summer months.

A spokesperson from British Airways said the ballot is “extremely disappointing”, adding: “After a deeply difficult two years which saw the business lose more than four billion pounds, these colleagues were offered a ten per cent payment for this year which was rejected.

“We remain fully committed to talks with our trade unions about their concerns and we hope that together we can find a way to reach an agreement in the best interests of our people and our customers.”

Ryanair and easyJet strikes in Italy

Crews from budget airlines, Ryanair and easyJet, staged a 24-hour walk out on Wednesday 8 June, citing poor pay conditions.

Numerous flights between London airports and Italian destinations have been cancelled over the past few days due to industrial action.

Airport strike in France

A quarter of the flights scheduled yesterday morning were cancelled after staff at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport announced a strike in a plea for more pay.

Unionised employees walked off the job between 7am and 2pm.

Potential Ryanair strikes in Spain

Ryanair staff could walk out over the summer, as the budget airline walked away from talks with two Spanish unions yesterday, Bloomberg reported.

Spanish unions SITCPLA and USO have coordinated with five other organisations in Belgium, France, Italy and Portugal to plan a summer walkout over pay, throwing summer holiday plans into doubt.

Arriva buses in parts of Yorkshire have been suspended indefinitely as drivers have walked out, demanding an inflation-related pay increase.

Employees began the strike earlier this week and Unite union said it is expected to go on for “an undisclosed period of time”.

Phil Bown, from the union, said: “I’ve got bus drivers here who are working 40 to 50 hours a week and can’t afford to live on the cost of living that they are.”

Bus routes are not operating across Wakefield, Dewsbury, Castleford, Pontefract, Heckmondwike, Cleckheaton, Bradford, Leeds, Ossett, Batley, Morley, Rothwell, South Elmsall, Hemsworth, Huddersfield, Halifax, Doncaster, Selby, York and Goole.

Essential services

Post Office

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) at Crown Post Offices will launch a strike over pay on Saturday, while members working in administration and supply chain networks walked out on Monday.

This is the second time the workers have engaged in industrial action and the union has not ruled out further walkouts.

About 114 larger Post Office branches, often located on the high street, will be impacted.

Bin strikes

Bin workers across the country are also striking over pay, with other unions set to join the action.

Bin men in Wealden, East Sussex, recently extended a strike until 25 June, having left waste to pile up on the streets for the past five weeks.

Councils across London face uncollected bins as workers serving some councils are voting on whether to strike, while refuse staff in Croydon will walk out next week.

Unite union said Croydon is facing a “summer of stink”, as bins in the council will not be collected during strike action from Thursday 16 June to Friday 8 July.

Over 100 bin lorry drivers, loaders and sweepers working for Veolia are demanding higher pay, with many workers earning more than £7,000 less than similar jobs in other London boroughs.

Unite members working in Bexley council may also strike, as well as GMB Union members collecting waste in Wandsworth and Battersea.

Manchester is also facing a walkout as over 200 workers employed by waste firm Biffa have entered a dispute over an “insulting” 1.75 per cent pay rise, according to Unite union.

Meanwhile, a two-week Isle of Wight bin collection strike has been called off after workers secured a pay rise and a new deal has been offered to bin lorry drivers in Coventry who have been striking for nearly six months.

Civil service

Members of the largest civil service union, PCS, are striking for three days next week from 15 to 17 June over cuts.

British Council staff already walked out for two days in March over staff redundancies and plans to outsource parts of the organisation.

The organisation specialises in international cultural and educational opportunities but struggled to bring in sufficient funds during the pandemic.

Council workers in Scotland are balloting 25,000 staff for a strike over pay that threatens to shut schools and nurseries.

The Unison and GMB unions are urging local government workers in schools, early years, waste and recycling across Scotland to vote until 26 July.

Unionised employees working for BT Group – which includes BT, Openreach and EE – could also stage industrial action over the summer. They too are demanding more pay, having been hit by the cost of living crisis.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) are urging members to vote on a ballot which opens on 15 June.

The union has warned that a yes vote could have a “massive impact” on home broadband, potentially leaving customers without landline phones and WiFi.

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A Drone Strike in Moscow and a Message: Russia Is Not Safe

The same building housing Russian government offices was hit twice within 48 hours.

  • Share full article

Emergency personnel near a damaged building.

By Ivan Nechepurenko ,  Alina Lobzina and Victoria Kim

A building in central Moscow housing government ministries was struck by a drone Tuesday for the second time in 48 hours, as Ukrainian officials make it increasingly clear that they are not going to allow the war to be limited to their own soil.

“Moscow is rapidly getting used to a full-fledged war,” Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Mr. Zelensky, said pointedly in a tweet on Tuesday.

Moscow’s mayor, Sergey Sobyanin, said the drone had hit the 21st floor of a tower that was damaged in an earlier strike over the weekend. Two other drones were shot down on the outskirts of Moscow, Russia’s Defense Ministry said, while a third was reported downed in Sevastopol, in Russia-occupied Crimea.

Ukraine has been generally coy when it comes to attacks within Russia’s borders, but in recent days President Volodymyr Zelensky and other top officials have signaled that the strikes are part of Kyiv’s strategy. Video of the latest attacks strongly suggested that one of the drones was a Ukrainian-made long-range model identified by The New York Times .

Though Russia has been little scathed by the attacks, they have managed to reach deep into its territory, where they have struck targets both symbolic and military, and rattled some nerves.

On Tuesday, Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesman, said that “there is a clear threat” and that “measures are being taken” to improve defenses of the capital. At the same time, the Russian authorities have tried to play down the risk.

The glass-facade high-rise that was struck twice in recent days in Moscow houses the ministries of digital development, economy and industrial development, but the Defense Ministry said the drone had been electronically jammed and lost control before crashing into the building.

The drone attack on Moscow was at least the fourth attempt in just over a week. Over the weekend, Mr. Zelensky said that the war “is returning to the territory of Russia — to its symbolic centers and military bases,” and described that shift as “inevitable, natural and absolutely fair.”

The damage in Russia, of course, is miniscule compared to the devastation Moscow’s troops have inflicted in Ukraine. On Tuesday alone, a Russian missile hit a clinic in the southern city of Kherson, killing a newly graduated doctor on his first day of work, seriously wounding a nurse and injuring three other medical workers.

In Moscow, by contrast, it was unclear if anyone was injured in the drone attack the same day.

City residents were encouraged by government-controlled media to take the new chapter of their lives in stride, and many appeared to be doing just that.

Mirlan Yzakov, who owns an investment company with an office in the Moscow City tower complex that was hit this weekend, said that he had learned about the drone strike on the news and that it had not affected his business. His team continues to work from their offices, he said.

“This is the time of conflict, a conflict of interests, so this is a natural procedure,” Mr. Yzakov said in a phone interview. “We live in a difficult time.”

Some Russians have had trouble adjusting to the idea that they, too, may now be in the cross hairs, however remote the risk.

Maksim Khodyrev, a real estate agent who specializes in the Moscow City area, said that he had begun to receive letters from apartment tenants saying that “they can no longer feel themselves safe” and “are thinking about canceling lease agreements.”

The country’s nationalist bloggers have tried to portray the attacks as an act of desperation by Ukraine, aimed at creating media noise because the Ukrainian counteroffensive is sputtering.

“There is zero military damage,” Andrei Perla, a political commentator for Tzargrad, an ultranationalist television channel, wrote on Telegram on Sunday after the first attack. “But there is a psychological effect.”

Many Russians are just trying to push the bad news out of their minds, Aleksandr Kynev, a Russian political analyst, wrote on the same platform.

“People are consciously or unconsciously ignoring it,” he wrote. “They want to shut themselves from it, because they want to preserve their lives to be as normal as possible.”

Ivan Nechepurenko reported from Tbilisi, Georgia; Alina Lobzina from London, and Victoria Kim from Seoul. Matthew Mpoke Bigg contributed reporting from London.

Ivan Nechepurenko has been a Times reporter since 2015, covering politics, economics, sports and culture in Russia and the former Soviet republics. He was raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, and in Piatykhatky, Ukraine. More about Ivan Nechepurenko

Victoria Kim is a correspondent based in Seoul, focused on international breaking news coverage. More about Victoria Kim

Our Coverage of the War in Ukraine

News and Analysis

The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency has condemned recent drone strikes at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant , saying “such reckless attacks significantly increase the risk of a major nuclear accident.”

Russian rockets slammed into residential buildings in Kharkiv, Ukrainian officials said, killing at least seven people and injuring at least 11 more in the latest assault on Ukraine’s second-largest city .

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has signed into law three measures aimed at replenishing the ranks of his country’s depleted army, including lowering the draft age to 25 .

Conditional Support: Ukraine wants a formal invitation to join NATO, but the alliance has no appetite for taking on a new member  that would draw it into the biggest land war in Europe since 1945.

‘Shell Hunger’: A desperate shortage of munitions in Ukraine  is warping tactics and the types of weapons employed, and what few munitions remain are often mismatched with battlefield needs.

Turning to Marketing: Ukraine’s troop-starved brigades have started their own recruitment campaigns  to fill ranks depleted in the war with Russia.

How We Verify Our Reporting

Our team of visual journalists analyzes satellite images, photographs , videos and radio transmissions  to independently confirm troop movements and other details.

We monitor and authenticate reports on social media, corroborating these with eyewitness accounts and interviews. Read more about our reporting efforts .

Rail strikes: List of March and April dates and train lines affected as union reveals more industrial action

The spring season of rail disruption will kick off on 15 March with strikes on the underground, followed by RMT workers walking out on 16 March. Here's the latest on what lines will be disrupted and when.

Tuesday 14 March 2023 14:58, UK

File photo dated 05/01/23 of Southeastern trains in sidings at Ramsgate station in Kent during a strike by train drivers from the Aslef union, in a long-running dispute over jobs and pensions. Train operating companies have offered the drivers' union a two-year pay deal in a bid to resolve the bitter dispute which has led to a series of strikes. The Rail Delivery Group said it was offering a "landmark outline proposal" that would deliver more reliable services for passengers, in exchange for a p

Rail workers will strike again on four dates in March and April. 

Update: RMT suspends plans for rail strikes on 30 March and 1 April

On 16 March, 18 March, 30 March and 1 April members of the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union working for 14 train companies will strike .

These walkouts will each last 24 hours , causing severe disruption to travel on the strike days and affecting journeys on the days either side.

RMT members working for National Rail will also take strike action on 16 March, running until 2am on 17 March.

On 15 March, the tube will grind to a halt as London Underground drivers, represented by Aslef, and other tube workers, represented by the RMT, walk out.

The fresh strike dates are the latest in a long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions that has disrupted passenger journeys since June.

In mid-February, RMT rejected the terms offered by Network Rail and 14 train operators on the grounds they "did not meet the needs of members on pay, job security or working conditions".

Here are the lines and times affected. Information will be updated as rail operators publish details:

London Underground - "little or no service is expected on the tube network" on 15 March while on 16 March services will start later than normal

London Overground - services should run as normal on 15 and 16 March but some stations may be closed and services are expected to be busier on Wednesday

Elizabeth Line - trains will be running on 15 March but will be "much busier" than normal with queuing systems possible. On 16 March some services will start later and finish earlier

DLR - services are expected to run as normal on 15 and 16 March

East Midlands Railway - the company says it is "reviewing" how the strikes will affect services, with information on timetables and ticketing available on its website soon

Great Western Railway - advises a revised timetable will be in place and some parts of the network will have no trains running

Avanti West Coast - timetable and service will be "reduced significantly", with customers told any trains that do run will be very busy

LNER - the company says it is "currently reviewing how these proposed strikes will impact our trains"

CrossCountry - the company is "currently assessing" how trains will be impacted but says a "limited service" will be in place

TransPennine Express - "no or very limited services on strike days" with customers advised to travel only if their journey is "absolutely essential". A reduced timetable the day after strikes means people should avoid travel on these days "where possible"

Greater Anglia - firm repeats its earlier advice to "avoid travelling" and that services will be "severely reduced and disrupted", with trains starting later and finishing earlier than normal

c2c - "on the c2c route, we will operate a severely reduced service with trains running between 07.30-18.30 only"

Chiltern Railways - strikes "will affect services on and around the strike days" with a different timetable on strike days

Southern Rail - the railway will have limited opening hours with customers advised to avoid travel

Great Northern - advice is the same as Southern Rail

Thameslink - firm repeats advice to avoid travel on strike days and expect disruption on the day after

Gatwick Express - "severe disruption" expected on RMT strike days.

West Midlands Railway - expects to run a "very limited service" with no trains on some parts of the network

Southeastern - there will be no Southeastern, Southern or Thameslink train services from the company's station on strike days

Northern - strike action will "significantly impact our ability to run a train service", the company says

South Western Railway - the company is "still determining" how the industrial action will impact services, with customers advised to check back on the website.

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  7. What To Do When There's A Train Strike

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  11. Industrial Action

    Season tickets. If you have a Season ticket** that is monthly or longer and you cannot travel due to timetable disruption on the day that any strike action has cancelled your service then you can claim 100% compensation for these days through Delay Repay. If you have purchased a Season ticket** and would like a refund you can apply for a refund from the original retailer of your ticket.

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    This strike is designed to hit rail passengers in the north and west of England, as well as the day's football programme. In the Premier League, it will hit Newcastle fans travelling to Fulham ...

  13. Strike action

    If you booked tickets to travel on strike days before the industrial action was announced on 20 March, you can claim a full, fee-free refund from your point of purchase. Alternatively, if you have pre-booked tickets for strike days you can use these on alternative travel dates. Find out more below.

  14. Rail Strike Travel Information 2024

    If you've booked with us and your ticket is for a strike day, you'll be entitled to a fee-free refund. Customers with Anytime or Off-Peak tickets for travel between Friday 5th April - Monday 8th April can instead use their tickets between Thursday 4th April and Wednesday 10th April, provided you bought your ticket before 20th March.

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  21. Rail strikes: List of March and April dates and train lines affected as

    Thameslink - firm repeats advice to avoid travel on strike days and expect disruption on the day after. Gatwick Express - "severe disruption" expected on RMT strike days.

  22. Strikes

    Levels of disruption will vary on each of these days, with no services in some places, so passengers are advised to check for the latest updates before travelling. For information visit the National Rail website. Tram strikes. A tram strike planned for Sunday 24 March to Thursday 28 March has been suspended. Strikes are still planned: