Aslef has announced their members are to strike which will coincide with the Tory annual conference over the long running bitter dispute over pay.
Aslef train drivers will strike on 30 September until 4 October which is the last day of the conference.
The train driver strikes will see all services cancelled which will cause havoc for commuters travelling to Manchester.
There will be a further so called strike from 29 September to 6 October as Aslef members will impose a ban on overtime, which will “seriously disrupt” the rail network, the union added.
The Transport Secretary Mark Harper said “Where’s Wally?” as no contact has been made with him from Whelan since December 2022.
Harper added, “Where’s Mark Harper? He holds the purse strings. The train companies have told us. They say they cannot act without his say-so.”
Mick Whelan, general secretary of Aslef, said, “While we regret having to take this action – we don’t want to lose a day’s pay or disrupt passengers as they travel by train – the Government and employers have forced us into this position.
“Our members have not had a pay rise for four years – since 2019 – and that’s not right when prices have soared in that time.
“Train drivers quite reasonably want to be able to buy now what they could buy four years ago.”