‘Industry is in survival mode’ amid train strike action

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Action impact: the latest train strikes mean just 11% of services will operate (image: Getty/piccaya)
Action impact: the latest train strikes mean just 11% of services will operate (image: Getty/piccaya)

Related tags Legislation Night-time economy British beer & pub association

Train strikes that are taking place this weekend has been criticised by the sector amid the continuing challenges the trade is currently facing.

The strike action​ by ASLEF and RMT unions is taking place on Saturday 1 October as well as Wednesday 5 October and Saturday 8 October.

This weekend’s strike is happening on the day before the London Marathon and the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham.

While some trains will be running, this will be limited with only about 11% of services operating.

Trying to bounce back

There is also some disruption expected on Sunday (2 October) as workers return to their jobs.

Trade bodies warned the strikes will cause “further damage” to the hospitality sector as it also continues to battle the ongoing energy bill hikes.

British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “As an industry we really are trying hard to bounce back after the pandemic but we are faced time and time again with new hurdles from rising costs to labour shortages and now severe transport disruption.

“It is imperative to the health of our industry further strikes are avoided so customers and staff alike are able to travel with confidence and keep our pubs thriving.”

Unnerving few weeks

The Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) previously estimated businesses reported a loss of up to 40% in trade​ from previous strike activity.

NTIA boss Michael Kill said: “Following an extremely unnerving few weeks for our sector, costs escalating and a Budget that has done little to dispel concerns, we are now faced with further strike action over the weekend where only 11% of train services will be operational and a notice to suggest people only travel when absolutely necessary.

“Our industry is in survival mode and cannot afford to lose a day of trade let alone a weekend, we are relying on every day’s trade to cover our costs and get through winter.”

Furthermore, train strikes during the summer “hugely affected” the hospitality sector when industrial action in June saw a 50% drop in sales at some pubs in London and Manchester​.

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