Train passengers are to be hit with fresh travel chaos today as tens of thousands of rail workers go on strike again. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT), the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) and Unite will walk out again in the the long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.
Workers will strike for 24 hours with the industrial action impacting on Network Rail and a number of train companies across the country. RMT members at Network Rail and 14 train operators, TSSA members at seven companies, and Unite members at NR will strike again, along with London United bus drivers.
Sunday morning train services will also be affected by the knock-on effect of Saturday’s action. It’s anticipated that only around one in five trains will run on Saturday, with some areas having no services all day, as the unions stage their second stoppage in three days.
Football and cricket fans, tourists and holidaymakers will be among those affected by the disruption. The sides are as far apart as ever in resolving the row despite months of talks aimed at breaking the deadlock, with increasing union anger at the refusal of Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to get involved in negotiations.
The strike follows a walkout on Friday by London Underground workers and some bus drivers in the capital in separate disputes, which caused travel chaos.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “RMT will continue to negotiate in good faith but we cannot tolerate being bullied or hoodwinked into accepting a raw deal for our members. The Government need to stop their interference in these disputes so the employers can come to a negotiated settlement with us.”
TSSA members taking action include staff working in ticket offices, stations, control rooms, engineering, as well as planning, timetabling and other support roles. The union is seeking guarantees of no compulsory redundancies, a pay rise in line with the cost of living, and promises of no unilateral alterations to job terms and conditions.
Mr Shapps said: “It’s clear, from their co-ordinated approach, that the unions are hell-bent on causing as much misery as possible to the very same taxpayers who stumped up £600 per household to ensure not a single rail worker lost their job during the pandemic. Sadly, union chiefs have short memories and will be repaying this act of good faith by ruining millions of hard-working people’s summer plans.”