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Who is on strike in January and February 2024?

Last week (18 January), tens of thousands of people went on strike in Northern Ireland

Find out who is striking, why, and what services will be affected in our roundup.

This year started with significant strike action.

In the first week of January, junior doctors in England held their longest-ever strike and last week (18 January), tens of thousands went on strike in Northern Ireland, with participants including teachers, nurses, civil servants, bus drivers and train drivers.

Find out when industrial action is planned for the rest of January and February 2024.


Hitachi Rail: 27 January to 1 February 2024

Journeys on Great North Eastern and Great Western railways will be heavily disrupted from next week due to strike action by workers at Hitachi Rail, Unite announced last Friday (19 January 2024).  

The strike was called in response to a 5.5% or 6% pay increase offer, which Unite said is a real-terms pay cut when inflation is taken into account. Hitachi Rail Limited made £104 million in profits according to its latest filings with Companies House.

Its highest-paid director earned nearly £1.4 million.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Hitachi is making enormous profits in the UK and yet it is trying to short change our members with this real-terms pay cut

“These workers are highly skilled and perform a safety-critical role and yet are being chronically undervalued by their employer. Hitachi needs to know our members won’t stand for such penny pinching as they head to the picket line.”  

Read more: A year of strikes: what has changed?


Cardiff refuse workers: until 22 February 2023

Strike action by Unite members working within Cardiff council’s refuse and recycling department is being extended by a further four weeks.

The current strike action which started on 28 December, was due to end on Thursday 25 January will now continue until Thursday 22 February.

On its website, Unite stated that the fresh strike dates are in response to Cardiff council’s failure to make any progress in relation to a widespread bullying culture within the refuse and recycling department, alongside the ingrained use of agency labour.

Aslef rail train drivers: 30 Jan to 5 Feb

Train drivers who are members of Aslef union will take strike action in January and February in a long-running dispute over pay

The drivers will also refuse to work overtime from Monday 29 January until Tuesday 6 February.

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said drivers need pay rises to cope with the cost of living.

He said: “We have given the government every opportunity to come to the table but it has now been a year since we had any contact from the Department for Transport. It's clear they do not want to resolve this dispute.

"Many of our members have now not had a single penny increase to their pay in half a decade, during which inflation soared and with it the cost of living. Train drivers didn't even ask for an increase during the Covid-19 pandemic when they worked throughout as keyworkers, risking their lives to allow NHS and other workers to travel.

"The government has now tried their old trick of changing the rules when they can't win and brought in Minimum Service Levels legislation. But this new law, as we told officials during the consultation period, won't ease industrial strife. It will likely just make it worse.”

Read more: Acas offers advice as junior doctors strike


The Pensions Regulator: 10 January to 1 February 

Staff at The Pensions Regulator (TPR) will continue strike action after being offered a 3% pay rise while other civil service employers are getting a 4.5% increase. 

Membership of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), at TPR has risen by 163% since the dispute started in September.

And PCS members are reporting that the ongoing strike action is creating a backlog of work and systemic disruption to TPR’s ability to deliver on its statutory duties.

Abellio bus controllers: 19 and 26 January and 2, 9, 16 and 23 February 

Around 40 staff who work in the control rooms for Abellio buses and who control the bus routes, instruct drivers on traffic jams or accidents and ensure overall safety on the routes are to take six days of action. 

Control room staff, who use high-tech satellite GPS systems to monitor bus routes across London, have been offered a 5% pay increase for 2023 by Abellio, which Unite the union said is a substantial real-terms pay cut.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Abellio’s poor pay offer will bring chaos to London as our members take strike action to fight for better pay.  

“Abellio has hundreds of millions of pounds of revenue from lucrative London bus contracts and yet it is trying to short-change some of its most vital staff. It needs to understand our members won’t stand for it.” 

English National Opera: 1 February

The English National Opera's musicians and singers have voted to go on strike in protest at a plan to cut jobs.

Members of the company's orchestra, chorus and music staff will walk out on 1 February, the opening night of its latest run of The Handmaid's Tale.

The Musicians Union and Equity said plans to axe 19 orchestra posts and make other staff members part-time would threaten musicians' livelihoods.

This will be the first time that Musicians Union members have taken full strike action for 44 years.

The union's general secretary Naomi Pohl said the vote was "a sign of extremely difficult times for the orchestral sector and opera and ballet in particular".