A “summer of dissatisfaction” with empty supermarket shelves and dry gas stations is feared if there is a rail strike as unions demand a pay rise to keep up with inflation
A rail strike could trigger a “summer of dissatisfaction” with empty supermarket shelves and dry gas stations.
Plans are reportedly being drawn up by rail bosses to give freight trains priority over passenger services to keep supermarket shelves stocked when the strikes take place.
Rail unions have warned of a “summer of discontent” if they don’t get double-digit wage increases in line with inflation, the Express reported.
The Rail, Shipping and Transport Union (RMT) strike is centered on layoffs and demands for “a guarantee that there will be no adverse changes in labor practices”.
The union is currently voting more than 40,000 members at 15 rail operators on a possible nationwide rail strike.
Martin Burton/Sussex Live)
Railroad Secretary Wendy Morton insisted that railroad workers had already received bigger pay rises than teachers, nurses, firefighters and ambulances over the past decade.
Ms Morton warned that possible strike action “risks taking us back to darker days”.
Rail insiders have suggested that some tracks could be reserved for the movement of goods at certain times of the day, to prevent shops from running out of groceries and to keep forecourts stocked.
Threat of strikes due to a shortage of truck drivers, rail transport cannot be shifted to the road.
A senior rail source told the Express: “We want to keep people and goods moving, but we undoubtedly face serious challenges.
“There’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes, including what the schedule might look like. One option is times of the day when only freight traffic runs.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is due to meet Prime Minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak next week to discuss the issue.
The RMT said the “biggest in modern history” could come as soon as next month, although it has not yet outlined when and how it will take action.
She can’t go on strike until after the long anniversary weekend because she has to give two weeks’ notice.
Train operators also make contingency plans, including training managers for dispatching trains.
A Whitehall source suggested supermarket bosses could also be called to discuss contingency plans to limit supply chain disruptions, the Express reported.
A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents rail operators, reportedly said: “Our whole focus now should be on ensuring a prosperous future for rail that adapts to new travel patterns and demands no more from taxpayers than their fair share, rather than prematurely staging industrial action that would disrupt passengers’ lives and jeopardize the industry’s recovery.”
He added that all train operators want to offer their employees a raise and said they are “working hard to make it happen”.
He added: “But as an industry we need to change the way we work and improve productivity to forge our own path – the alternative of asking taxpayers to shoulder even more of the burden after injecting an extra £16billion into the industry in the process.” have covid or passengers paying even higher fares if they too are feeling the pinch just isn’t fair.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/fears-summer-rail-strike-could-27025732 Fears rail strike could leave supermarket shelves and petrol pumps empty in summer