Train drivers will stage three fresh strikes in a long-running row over pay, including on FA Cup final day.
Members of Aslef will walk out on May 12 and 31 – and when Wembley hosts Manchester City and Manchester United on June 3.
The union said it has rejected a “risible” 4% pay offer from the 16 train companies it remains in dispute with.
He said: “Our executive committee met this morning and rejected a risible proposal we received from the Rail Delivery Group (RDG).
“The proposal – of just 4% – was clearly not designed to be accepted as inflation is still running north of 10% and our members at these companies have not had an increase for four years.
“The RDG, in turn, rejected our proposals to modernise Britain’s railways and help them run more efficiently, for passengers and for businesses, in the 21st century.
“Consequently, we have today announced three more days of strike action on Friday May 12, Wednesday May 31 and Saturday June 3 at the companies with which we are in dispute, and which are letting down passengers, and taxpayers, so badly.
“We are also withdrawing non-contractual overtime from Monday May 15 to Saturday 20 inclusive, as well as on Saturday May 13 and Thursday June 1.”
The train operating companies involved in the dispute are: Avanti West Coast; Chiltern Railways; CrossCountry; East Midlands Railway; Great Western Railway; Greater Anglia; GTR Great Northern Thameslink; London North Eastern Railway; Northern Trains; Southeastern; Southern/Gatwick Express; South Western Railway; SWR depot drivers; SWR Island Line; TransPennine Express; and West Midlands Trains.
Aslef said its negotiating team has met representatives of the employers on eight occasions over the past year to try to find a resolution to the long-running dispute.
The union said it took eight one-day strikes to bring the train operators and the government “to their senses and persuade them to sit down and talk properly”.
Mr Whelan added: “We do not want to go on strike, we do not want to inconvenience passengers, we have families and friends who use the railway, too, and we believe in investing in rail for the future of this country but the blame for this action lies, fairly and squarely, at the feet of the employers who have forced our hand over this by their intransigence.
“It is now up to them to come up with a more sensible, and realistic, offer and we ask the government not to hinder this process.”
The May 12 strike will be held the day before the Eurovision final in Liverpool.
“Senselessly targeting both the final of Eurovision and the FA Cup final is disappointing for all those planning to attend.
“After many weeks of negotiations with the Aslef leadership, today we made a revised and fair offer including a pay rise of 8% over two years.
“It would have introduced overdue, common-sense improvements already in place in parts of the network, which would see more trains running on time for passengers. Sadly, this has been rejected.
“We urge the Aslef leadership to rejoin us at the negotiating table and work with us to find a solution to the issues our industry faces and so we can give our people the pay rise we have always said we wanted to do.”
“The fair and reasonable offer from the RDG included urgent reform to ensure our railways are financially sustainable for the benefit of passengers, rail workers and the taxpayer as well as delivering a pay rise – for members whose salary already averages £60,000 a year.
“Aslef need to call off these strikes and give their members a say on this offer.”