Strike action to disrupt Southeastern services

Disruption to train services Photo John Horton

Only 44 of 180 railway stations served by Southeastern will be open tomorrow (July 27) and there will be no services at all on Saturday, July 30 due to industrial action.

The RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) trade union specialising in the transport sector, whose members include workers within the rail industry, is taking strike action on July 27, August 18 and August 20.

ASLEF (Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen) the UK’s Train Drivers’ Union is taking strike action on July 30.

Wednesday 27 July

There will be a limited service running on the rail network and some routes will be closed. Only travel by train if necessary. If you are travelling expect severe disruption, plan ahead and check your entire journey.

Only 44 out of 180 stations will be open. No rail replacement buses will serve stations which are closed, except where pre-planned engineering work is taking place.

You may be unable to board trains at stations where a limited service is running, especially at locations such as Ashford and Ebbsfleet.

The last trains back from London will be much earlier than usual.

Thursday 28 July

If you travel by train on the day after industrial action, services will start later, plan ahead, check your entire journey and allow extra time.

No services will run before 7am

Services are expected to be extremely busy, especially in the mornings

Saturday 30 July

There will be no Southeastern services running on the rail network. Please do not attempt to travel by train on this day. For alternative transport options visit traveline

The strikes are as a result of anger over job security, pay and working conditions.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said:“Strike action will take place  Wednesday as planned and our members are more determined than ever to secure a decent pay rise, job security and good working conditions.

“Network Rail have not made any improvement on their previous pay offer and the Train Companies have not offered us anything new.

“In fact Network Rail have upped the ante threatening to impose compulsory redundancies and unsafe 50% cuts to maintenance work, if we did not withdraw our planned strike action.

“The train operating companies have put driver only operations on the table along with ransacking our members terms and conditions.

“RMT will continue to negotiate in good faith but we will not be bullied or cajoled by anyone.

“The government need to stop their interference in this dispute so the rail employers can come to a negotiated settlement with us.”

Mick Whelan, ASLEF general secretary, said: ‘We don’t want to go on strike – strikes are the result of a failure of negotiation – and this union, since I was elected GS in 2011, has only ever been on strike, until this year, for a handful of days.

‘We don’t want to inconvenience passengers – not least because our friends and families use public transport, too, and we believe in building trust in the railways in Britain – and we don’t want to lose money by going on strike.

‘But we’ve been forced into this position by the train companies, driven by the Tory government. The drivers at the companies where we are striking have had a real terms pay cut over the last three years – since April 2019.

‘And these companies are offering us nothing, saying their hands have been tied by the government. That means, in real terms, with inflation running ahead at 9%, 10%, and even 11% this year, according to which index you use, that they are being told to take a real terms pay cut. And that is not acceptable.

‘Strike action is, now, the only option available but we are always open to talks if the train companies, or the government, want to talk to us and make a fair and sensible offer.”


  1. Perhaps if the did their jobs properly I’d have more sympathy. Travelling home from St. Pancras recently, not one person inspected our tickets, and the guard on the train was hiding when I tried to find him (if he was scared of all the yobs travelling to Margate, then why didn’t he call British Transport Police?).

  2. Absolutely support them in their actions. Fair wages, safe working conditions and respectful treatment is the least workers should be getting whilst private companies profit from public transport.
    Without strike action, nothing will change…and no amount of Tory-enabled scabs will be able to replace trained, experienced staff.

  3. Let the train take the strain for~ yobs m+f, under the age of responsibility dregs, county liner’s, free riders, twatts, and other people that my mum would say are scum like.

    Them trains have excellent cctv but no audio, unless its been upgraded. I can give them a quote.

    Unfortunately, at some times of the 24 hour day public transport is more like cretin transport.

    Southeastern (an adopted name from the previous kicked out rail opco) is actually a government rail supplier of the last resort.

    Were in a period of electing a new female pm, nowt is going to happen until a new pm has met the queen.

    Since work from home was normalised (its a faulty scenario) trains, bus etc need any revenue to survive.

    Southestern being a uk government operator, i fear for the survival. Tupe is not a swear word.

    • Electing a new female PM ? I think you need to go to Spec Savers mate if you think that Rishi Sunak looked like a female in the leadership debate with Ms Truss last night . Lol
      And maybe get your hearing checked too if you think he sounded like a woman !

          • Interestingly Peter, it was the Conservative government that got rid of the two lady prime ministers, as they did with Johnson! Truss is a chameleon, and needs urgent mental health help! She is all things to all people, and is so shallow she would barely survive in a puddle. Mark my words should the Tory party elect her as the Nations prime minister, they will despatch her soon after, as being even worse than Johnson for the job!

  4. Railway staff more hated now than bankers. Get in eastern europeans and sack the lot. Determined to make life miserable for the public

    • Fairly poor outlook dear sir or Madam. It’s great that profits are being sent overseas to Spanish and French operators. Are you happy for major shareholders, directors etc to claim massive dividends and bonuses on the back of the British taxpayer. These people are fighting for a sustainable wage during a badly managed quantitative easing regime economy management letting of contracts to mates etc. Making out ice so miserable Fuel below £2 a kg of butter £10 gas an electric set to hit 3k plus next year. This government saying people shouldn’t take a pay rise not even a mathematician can make someone on a low salary work that cost of living crisis. You probably live with mammy and daddy and given the golden spoon

      • Wrong i dontive with parents and have 3 children but because of the selfish rail workers i couldnt get to work today. Absolute wasters

        • I’m sure you do have 3 kids. Bad company you work for if the cannot pay you for one day. Shows how the value you.

          • Not everyone “works for a company”. I know of several self-employed hard-working manual workers who are losing a fortune thanks to the selfishness of the railway non-workers.

            I don’t know who you are or your background (unlike myself and others you’re obviously too embarrassed to out yourself), but it is very obvious that you’ve had very little experience of being out there in the real world.

      • That will hurt the Tory contingent. Privatisation is doing so well Brexit has done great. Multi National utility companies and rail companies taking the cash back to their own country. This crap they are investors in people. Companies get rebates on training etc. All smoke and mirrors

  5. I don’t think we can assess a wage claim based on one experience of one of the workers involved.
    I had an appointment at a local hospital last week. I was in and out in a few minutes as the specialist was clearly short of patients and he was able to see that I did not have a serious ailment(Phew!)
    But do I oppose any pay rise for NHS staff on the basis of one incident where a particular doctor in a particular hospital was NOT run off his feet and could easily fit me in?
    Anyway, in the words of former Tory Prime Minister, David Cameron, “Britain needs a pay rise!”
    Unfortunately, he didn’t do anything about it. And nor did his successors.

    • It’s not just “one of” the workers. I get trains a couple of times per week, and I rarely ever get my ticket checked, either at stations or on trains. These “workers” must be losing a fortune for their employers.

  6. Broadstairs never have staff around,dangerous for lone why should they have a pay rise for shabby service.Also not making public travel easy for people with no cars

  7. It seems to be the case that there are not enough staff employed by the railway companies. No point blaming the existing staff for the lack of colleagues. I see that hundreds of ticket offices are currently marked for closure, to be replaced by ticket machines. Yet more unstaffed stations, vulnerable to abuse and damage and intimidation of passengers.
    Will there be complaints that “there was nobody on duty when the yobs went berserk” at some station, so don’t pay the staff a decent wage? When it will be the employers who have been reducing their staff numbers that cause the issue!
    Just wait till Thanet Parkway gets going. A huge station, lots of machines for coffee and tickets and NOBODY on duty because it was never intended to be properly staffed! Machines don’t help and protect you. A human presence does that! Just by being there.

  8. Sack the lot of the selfish gits. Doesnt bother the management just the general public also common sense shows everyone getting above inflation payrises just increases inflation. Get in some eastern europeans lets open free movement of people with europe now we can see what the brexitidiots have done to our companies and country

    • So rate of inflation is rising rapidly fuel food Gas and Electricity through the roof wages are not rising. So ho do you expect a low paid worker to mange? Decided between eating putting fuel in the car heating the house paying a mortgage or rent? It’s common sense that the lowest paid workers are looked after in society. Just because you have handouts from mammy and daddy doesn’t mean everyone is able to live. You are the same person that voted fro Brexit and that’s got you really far in life. Why are people on high salaries saying people can’t have a rise? I’m in on a decent
      Salary and people do deserve it. Multi National construction companies and any other company that comes here should be keeping all the money earned in this country. Construction companies on government contracts are claiming inflation rates so why is that acceptable. It’s fine for MPs and directors of companies to say working people cannot have a rise it affects inflation well if they are so good then tell me how some one on £20 or £30k can make it work

        • What a stupid comment rail tickets increase with RPI so people cannot even afford them. Another privileged person I hope one day you or someone in your family will feel want it’s like to live on the breadline then understand what people are doing it for. But like any pathetic comments you leave on the is site you will always have an answer because you are a bully boy I’d say man but wouldn’t waste that on you pathetic Peter!

          • “privileged”? Hilarious.

            Mrs. Margate, I could never afford to run a car, hence I always travel by train or bus (when I’m not walking or cycling that is – try it yourself!).

          • I’ve just checked – a day return from Birchington to Faversham costs £6.60. I defy anyone to drive there and back cheaper than that, particularly if cost of car and maintenance is factored in. Fact is, to SAVE money it is often far cheaper now to use public transport, AND we are supporting rail workers in the process.

  9. Ms. Margate, Any reponse to my comment about “workers” not bothering to check tickets at stations? In Margate for example, there are often 3 or 4 of them huddled together talking whilst fair dodgers walk on and off trains unchallenged. Or do you support the train companies losing so much money due to the “workers” sheer laziness?

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