Train strikes: More rail chaos today as talks have yet to break deadlock
Only 60% of trains will run on Friday as delays from Thursday’s RMT rail workers’ strike continue to affect transport services and talks on pay and conditions are deadlocked
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Disruptions continue on Britain’s railways on Friday as disputes over jobs, wages and working conditions remain deadlocked.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) at Network Rail and 13 train operators went on strike on Tuesday and Thursday, with a third strike planned for Saturday.
The travel chaos will continue on Friday as only 60% of trains are running, mainly due to a delay in the start of services as signallers and control room staff will not show up for night shifts.
Members of drivers’ union Aslef in Greater Anglia dropped out in a separate pay dispute on Thursday.
The Transport Salaried Staffs Association is electing hundreds of its members across Network Rail and several train companies to strike.
Phil Taylor / SWNS)
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “Our members are leading the way in advocating for all working people who are looking for a pay rise and some job security.
“In a modern economy, workers need to be paid fairly for their work, enjoy good conditions and know that their jobs will not be taken away from them.
“Grant Shapps (Secretary for Transport) needs to get in the room or get out of the way so we can deal with these companies with whom we’ve done dozens of successful deals before.
“What we cannot accept is thousands of railway workers being thrown into the scrapyard after being hailed as heroes during Covid.
“RMT will continue its industrial campaign until a negotiated settlement is reached.”
Talks have been going on all week, but there is little sign of a breakthrough.
Speaking to the BBC’s Question Time, Mr Lynch said: “Companies have told me face to face that they could get a guarantee that there would be no redundancies,” but added “they must not”.
“They’re not going to write it on a piece of paper and give it to us as a commitment,” he said, to which Conservative MP Rachel Maclean replied, “No organization can give that guarantee”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson branded the strikes a “terrible idea” and insisted there was “no point” in having railways that are “so uneconomical” that ticket prices are prohibitive for passengers.
He also defended pay cuts for public sector workers while giving pensioners pay rises in line with rising inflation.
Speaking to reporters who traveled with him in Rwanda, he said: “We must ensure that the railways run economically, for the benefit of the railway workers themselves and their families.
“There is no point in having a rail system in this country that is so uneconomical that you have to keep increasing ticket prices and driving more and more people off the rails.
“You can’t continue with practices like walking time, with box offices that sell very few tickets. They need to modernize.”
Legislative tools designed to amend the law to allow companies to provide skilled agency workers to fill staffing shortages during labor disputes will be set on Friday and Monday, Downing Street said.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/train-strikes-more-rail-travel-27315796 Train strikes: More rail chaos today as talks have yet to break deadlock