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Brits are preparing for the second day of strikes amid fears more will follow in just two weeks

Members of the RMT union are set to go on strike, leaving only one in five rail services operating as a bitter dispute with the government over wages and working conditions rages on

An empty platform at Paddington Station during Monday's strike
An empty platform at Paddington Station during Monday’s strike

A second rail strike will hit commuters on Thursday as thousands of rail workers picket lines after talks failed to resolve a bitter dispute over wages, jobs and working conditions.

Services across the UK are once again paralyzed as members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) at Network Rail and 13 train operators take industrial action.

Only about every fifth train will run during the day, mainly on main routes.

And there are fears a second wave of strikes could take place in just two weeks, reports say.

The National Executive Committee of the RMT is only required to give 14 days’ notice of further industrial action as the ongoing measures may disrupt the holiday plans of thousands of people.







RMT members strike over pay and conditions
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(Getty Images)

NetworkRail is allegedly They expect a decision on new strike dates to be made sometime next week, with the RMT having a mandate allowing it to call new strikes through November without requiring another vote.

The government announced plans in the run-up to the strike that will amend the law to allow companies to provide skilled agency workers to fill staffing gaps during industrial action.

Ministers pointed out that current trade union laws prevent employment agencies from providing temporary workers to cover strikers, saying this could have “disproportionate effects”.

The legislation will lift legal restrictions and allow companies hit by strikes to use the services of employment agencies, which can provide short-term qualified temporary workers, the government said.

Network Rail welcomed the move, but Labor and unions condemned it as a “recipe for disaster”.







RMT Secretary General Mick Lynch accused Transport Secretary Grant Shapps of “destroying” the negotiations
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Tayfun Salci/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock)

The RMT accused Transport Secretary Grant Shapps of “destroying” the negotiations.

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “Grant Shapps has wrecked these negotiations by not allowing Network Rail to withdraw its letter threatening 2,900 of our members with sacking.

“Until the government unleashes Network Rail and the railway companies, it will not be possible to agree on a negotiated solution.

“We will continue our industrial campaign until we get a negotiated solution that offers job security and a pay rise for our members that counteracts the escalating cost-of-living crisis.”

Mr Shapps hit back, saying the RMT claim was a “lie”.







Jubilee Line trains parked at Stratford Market Depot
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PA)

Meanwhile, members of Greater Anglia drivers’ union Aslef are set to strike on Thursday in a separate wage dispute.

The company, also affected by the RMT strike, advised passengers to only travel if necessary.

The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) announced that its members had accepted a 7.1% salary offer at Merseyrail.

General Secretary Manuel Cortes said: “This clearly shows that our union and sister unions are in no way prevented from finding the solutions needed to avoid a summer of rail discontent.

“Rather, it is the government that is anxious to dig in at their heels. Grant Shapps would do well to speak seriously to our union as we vote for industrial action on our railroads across the country.”







Rail traffic will be severely restricted on Thursday
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PA)

A spokesman for Rail Delivery Group: “With passenger numbers still at only 80% of pre-pandemic levels, the industry remains committed to offering fair wages while taking no more than its fair share from taxpayers.

“The only way we can do that is by making improvements – like offering better services on a Sunday – that reflect the changing needs of passengers, so we can win more back.”

“We call on the RMT leadership to continue the talks so that we can ensure a successful future for the railway and its employees in the long term.

“Our advice to passengers remains the same: only travel by train if absolutely necessary, do your research before you travel and make sure you know the time of your first and last train.”







Train strikes are likely to lead to more traffic jams on the roads
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Picture:

Phillip Harris)

A Network Rail spokesman said: “We are disappointed that the RMT has once again opted to exit negotiations without agreeing to a deal. We remain available for conversations – day and night – and will do everything possible to avoid further disruption to our passengers.

“As a result of this unnecessary and premature strike, rail services will be similar to Tuesday – starting later in the morning and ending much earlier in the evening (around 6.30pm).

“We ask passengers to inquire before traveling, to be aware of when the last available train will depart and to only travel by train if necessary.”

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/brits-brace-second-day-strikes-27306186 Brits are preparing for the second day of strikes amid fears more will follow in just two weeks

Fry Electronics Team

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