2023 has seen a great deal of industrial action, and it is hard to keep up with what strikes are happening, and how they will affect you.
This month alone sees industrial action planned for teachers, civil servants, junior doctors, ambulance staff and delivery services. And this week, rail services, with strike action expected on Thursday 16 March, Saturday 18 March, Thursday 30 March and Saturday 1 April, as trade unions walk out in disputes over pay and working conditions.
The strike action is expected to affect 14 major rail service companies over four days, with a mass tube strike scheduled for Wednesday 15 March.
Here, we have rounded up what you need to know about the rail strikes and how they will affect you this week - so you know ahead of time whether your journey will be smooth sailing or to be avoided at all costs.
When are the rail strikes?
The upcoming rail strikes are scheduled for Thursday 16 March, Saturday 18 March, Thursday 30 March and Saturday 1 April, with little to no services expected across the train companies affected on those days.
Which trains are affected?
Fourteen different transport operators will be affected across the four day strike action.
- Avanti West Coast
- East Midlands
- Gatwick Express
- Greater Anglia
- Great Northern
- Great Western
- South Western
- TransPennine Express
- West Midlands
When is the tube strike?
A tube strike is also expected this week, scheduled for Wednesday 15 March, with RMT and ASLEF union members planning industrial action on the underground network. Tube services will resume on the morning of Thursday 16 March, but the services are expected to start later than normal due to the strike action on Wednesday.
Why are the train strikes happening?
The different unions are striking on different days for multiple reasons. The most prominent reason for industrial action, is the issue of pay. Drivers are facing long term pay cuts amid the cost of living crisis.
A reduction of staff jobs in stations and other support roles and working conditions make up some of the reasons for the strike action this week.
“Working people will not accept continued attacks on pay and working conditions at a time when big business profits are at an all-time high,” the RMT’s general secretary, Mick Lynch, said during the last rail strike.
Unite's general secretary, Sharon Graham, added: “To be faced with a three-year pay freeze during the worst cost of living crisis in decades is disgraceful.”
While the director of industry operations at the Rail Delivery Group, Daniel Mann insisted, “These strikes are unnecessary and damaging. They disrupt passengers’ plans, undermine struggling businesses, hit major events and harm the industry’s recovery."
When will the rail strikes end?
The rail strike in March are expected to last just these four days, but there is expected to be more industrial action later in the year.
No one quite knows for sure when it will all draw to a close - it all depends on whether the unions and operators can come to an agreement.
If your train is cancelled, rescheduled or delayed, you are entitled to a refund from the retailer where you bought the ticket - as per National Rail.
We will continue to update this story.
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Dionne Brighton is a writer at Marie Claire UK, specialising in all things shopping, beauty and fashion. Born and raised in North London, she studied Literature at the University of East Anglia before taking the leap into journalism. These days, you can find her testing out the latest TikTok beauty trends or finding out what the next full Moon means.
- Jenny ProudfootFeatures Editor
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