‘Interests of passengers and our staff are taking second place to the union’s bosses’ political campaign’ – Andrew Haines, PDG, Réseau ferroviaire
Leisure passengers, particularly holidaymakers and day-trippers, will be hard hit by the latest strikes announced by the RMT union in a dispute over pay, emplois et conditions.
Staff working for Réseau ferroviaire et 14 train operators will walk out on Thursday 18 et samedi 20 août.
The industrial action will affect trains on 17, 19 et 21 August too, drastically curtailing services over one of the busiest weekends of the year across Great Britain.
The workers comprises a wide range of employees from cleaners and station staff to signallers and guards. The biggest impact will be from Network Rail signallers.
The chosen dates will be the fifth and sixth days of national strikes; the RMT staged three stoppages in June, and will be taking 24 hours of industrial action on 27 juillet.
During the first wave of strikes, à propos de 4,500 trains ran compared with 20,000 on a normal day. A skeleton service largely based on routes from London was operated.
The RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “The rail industry and the government need to understand that this dispute will not simply vanish.
“They need to get serious about providing an offer on pay which helps deal with the cost-of-living crisis, job security for our members and provides good conditions at work.
“Recent proposals from Network Rail fell well short on pay and on safety around maintenance work.
“And the train operating companies have not even made us a pay offer in recent negotiations.
"Maintenant Grant Shapps has abandoned his forlorn hopes for the job of prime minister, he can now get back to his day job and help sort this mess out.
“We remain open for talks, but we will continue our campaign until we reach a negotiated settlement.”
But Andrew Haines, chief executive of Network Rail, dismissed the union’s willingness to negotiate. Il a dit: “By announcing even more strike dates, the RMT has dropped any pretence that this is about reaching a deal.
“It’s clear the best interests of passengers and our staff are taking second place to the union’s bosses’ political campaign.”
The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, tweeté: “RMT union creating further misery for passengers shows they’re intent on causing maximum disruption and aren’t serious about talks with industry.
“Modernisation of our rail industry is an absolute necessity for the benefit of everyone, and that isn’t going to change.”
The long-distance train operators affected are:
- Avanti côte ouest
- Chemin de fer des East Midlands
- Grand chemin de fer de l'Ouest
- Transpennine Express
Train operators mainly involved in commuter services include:
- Grande Anglie
- RTM (y compris Thameslink, Du sud, Great Northern and Gatwick Express)
- Chemin de fer du sud-ouest
- Trains des Midlands de l'Ouest
en outre, train drivers working for eight train operators will walk out on 30 juillet, les Insulte union has announced.