The head of the Aslef union has warned that strikes could last for up to “five years” amid “draconian” work conditions and pay.
On Friday the RMT walked out and on Saturday Aslef workers joined the picket lines which disrupted travel to the FA Cup final and the Epsom Derby.
Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said the government must find a “resolution” and that they are “determined to get” one, but then warned there will be “no waning in enthusiasm” for members of the union to strike.
Speaking to Sky news Whelan said, “We would like a resolution tomorrow, we do not want to be on strike.
“We are in this if it takes us four years, five years, whatever it is, to get a resolution to this, we will do what it takes to get to that resolution.
“We have gone four years without a pay rise, as have many other sectors and many other workers.
“But to stop now after four years, what will happen, we will not get a pay rise next year, the year after, the year after that.”
Whelan was asked on Times Radio breakfast if the union is closer to making a deal he said, “Further away than ever, unfortunately.”
He added, “The way in which it works is that we reacted to a deceitful and spiteful non-offer from the management and the government. And we had to comply with the legislation.”
A spokesperson for the Department for Transport said, “These strikes have been co-ordinated by union leaders to disrupt passengers in a week which will see major events such as the first-ever all Manchester FA Cup final, the Epsom Derby and a number of concerts and festivals across the UK.
“Not content with impacting the hundreds of thousands of people who have looked forward to these events all year round, unions are also targeting their own members’ pockets by forcing them to miss out on pay every time they strike.”