Train strikes 2023: Strike action announced, affecting Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool and FA Cup Final

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Strike days include May 12.

Three new days of strike action for rail workers have been announced, including the day before the Eurovision grand final and the day of the FA Cup final.

Drivers working for train operators including Avanti West Coast and Northern, will walk out in a dispute over pay, potentially disurpting travel plans for Eurovision fans heading to Liverpool.

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Union, Aslef announced the decision to undertake industrial action after rejecting a pay offer from 16 train companies. The strikes will take place on May 12 - the day before the Eurovision grand final in Liverpool - May 31 and June 3 - the day of the FA Cup Final.

As well as strike action, Aslef said it would withdraw non-contractual overtime from May 15 to 20 May and on May 13 and June 1.

Companies involved in the strike:

  • Avanti West Coast
  • Chiltern Railways
  • CrossCountry
  • East Midlands Railway
  • Great Western Railway
  • Greater Anglia
  • GTR Great Northern Thameslink
  • London North Eastern Railway
  • Northern Trains
  • Southeastern
  • Southern/Gatwick Express
  • South Western Railway
  • SWR depot drivers
  • SWR Island Line
  • TransPennine Express
  • West Midlands Trains.

Reason for strike action: “Our executive committee met this morning and rejected a risible proposal we received from a pressure group which represents some of the train companies. The proposal - of just 4% - was clearly not designed to be accepted as inflation is still running north of 10% and our members at these companies have not had an increase for four years,” said Aslef’s general secretary Mick Whelan.

Eurovision in Liverpool: Liverpool is hosting the 67th staging of Eurovision on behalf of last year’s winners, Ukraine. The Grand Final takes places on May 13 in the city, with thousands expected to attend either the live show or events across Liverpool. MerseyRail is not involved in the strike action.

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