Greater than 40,000 staff from Network Rail and 13 train operators are expected to participate in a three-day strike after talks over pay and redundancies fell through. The motion could leave only a fifth of mainline rail services running on these strike days, with the bulk operating for a maximum of 12 hours; causing widespread disruption to passenger and freight services across England, Scotland, and Wales.
The RMT Union said members working for train corporations have been subject to “pay freezes, threats to jobs and attacks on their terms and conditions”.
Network Rail plans to axe 2,500 maintenance jobs in an try to make £2 billion in savings over the following two years.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Railway staff have been treated appallingly and despite our greatest efforts in negotiations, the rail industry with the support of the Government has didn’t take their concerns seriously.
“We have now a cost-of-living crisis, and it’s unacceptable for railway staff to either lose their jobs or face one other yr of a pay freeze when inflation is at 11.1pc and rising.
“Our union will now embark on a sustained campaign of commercial motion which is able to shut down the railway system.”
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He claimed rail corporations are making at the very least £500 million a yr in profits, before adding: “This unfairness is fuelling our members’ anger and their determination to win a good settlement.
“RMT is open to meaningful negotiations with rail bosses and ministers, but they are going to have to give you latest proposals to stop months of disruption on our railways.”
When will the strikes be going down?
The RMT Rail Union strikes will likely be going down on June 21, 23, and 25.
The primary day of the planned strike on June 21 will see London Underground RMT staff join the strike over a separate dispute over pensions and job losses – which is able to bring the entire variety of strikers to over 50,000.
RMT members include everyone from drivers, guards and catering staff to signallers and track maintenance staff.
These strikes coincide with various major summer events, including Glastonbury Festival, the British athletics championships, in addition to Hyde Park live shows for Elton John and the Rolling Stones to call a couple of.
On the strikes, Andrew Haines, Network Rail’s chief executive said: “We proceed to satisfy with our trades unions to debate their pay concerns and we’re doing the whole lot we will to avoid strike motion on the railway.
“We all know that the associated fee of living has increased and we would like to present our people a pay rise, however the RMT must recognise we’re a public body and any pay increase needs to be reasonably priced for taxpayers.
“Travel habits have modified perpetually and the railway must change as well.”
“We cannot expect to take greater than our fair proportion of public funds, and so we must modernise our industry to place it on a sound financial footing for the long run.
“Failure to modernise will only result in industry decline and more job losses in the long term.”
Describing the strike as “incredibly disappointing”, Transport Secretary Grant Schapps said: “The pandemic has modified travel habits – with 25 percent fewer ticket sales and the taxpayer stepping in to maintain the railways running at a price of £16bn, similar to £600 per household.
“We must act now to place the industry on a sustainable footing.
“We’re working with industry to scale back disruption brought on by strike motion, but unions are jumping the gun by announcing this when talks have only just begun.
“We once more need to urge the unions to return to talks with the rail industry so we will work together to construct a greater, more modern, passenger-focused, railway.”