RMT members at Network Rail and 13 train operators stage second walkout this week
Disruptions to rail services are set to continue on Friday as only 60 per cent of the trains will run.
The expected impacts to services on Friday are a knock-on effect of Thursday’s strike, because of a delay to the start of services as signallers and control room staff will not turn up for overnight shifts.
This week’s strikes are unlikely to be the end of the disruption, with an announcement on Thursday that another union will vote on industrial action throughout the summer.
The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) served notice to ballot members at TransPennine Express (TPE) for strike action and action short of a strike in a dispute over pay, conditions and job security.
The ballot opens on 29 June and closes in mid-July, so the earliest that industrial action could be taken is 27 juli.
The TSSA is also balloting its members in Network Rail, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, West Midlands Trains, Avanti West Coast, Nordlig, LNER, C2C and Great Western Railway (GWR) in an escalating dispute across the railway.
‘Take TfL out of mayor’s hands, Tory MP says
A London Tory MP, Nickie Aiken, has suggested that the government should take control of Transport for London [TfL] out of mayor Sadiq Khan’s hands.
She claimed that “Sadiq has proven he is not fit to run TfL. I think it’s time that the Department for Transport looked at taking it off him. We can’t go on like this. Something has got to give.”
På torsdag, the mayor blamed the government for a lack of funding. He said that this lack of funds was the reason behind axing 22 bus routes and reducing frequencies on almost 60 mer.
“Every few months Sadiq goes cap in hand, without any proper strategy to turn TfL’s finances around apart from cuts to services. I have run a £3bn organisation. I know what it is like to face government cuts, but you find efficiencies and new ways of working,” Ms Aiken said.
“I have been inundated with concerns from constituents, particularly the over 60s, about the bus plans that Sadiq has got to cut their bus or change it so dramatically that they will have to get two or three buses to get to their destination.”
ICYMI: Starmer stance on rail strikes ‘may end’ Labour party, union chief warns
A senior union leader has warned that Sir Keir Starmer’s handling of the railway strikes “may end” the Labour party.
Read the full story by Andrew Woodcock here:
Labour leader’s order to stay away from picket lines has angered left of party
‘Talks are a sham’, shadow transport secretary says
Louise Haigh, shadow transport secretary accused the transport secretary of “tying the hands of those at the table” and failing to reach a resolution.
Hun sa: “Ministers owe it to all those impacted by this serious disruption to get around the table for last ditch talks, to sort it out and avert this disruption.”
She added that Grant Shapps has tied the hands of those at the table. “He and his department failed to give the train operating companies, a party to these talks, any mandate to negotiate whatsoever… These talks are a sham because ministers have set them up to fail.”
Transport secretary ‘needs to get in the room or get out of the way’, RMT union boss says
The RMT union chief also said on Thursday that transport secretary Grant Shapps “needs to get in the room or get out of the way so we can negotiate with these companies who we have successfully struck dozens of deals with previously.”
Mick Lynch also praised the members of the RMT union and said that “our members are leading the way in standing up for all working people trying to get a pay rise and some job security.”
Han la til: “In a modern economy, workers need to be properly rewarded for their work, enjoy good conditions and have the peace of mind that their job will not be taken away from them.”
Mr Lynch has said that the industrial campaign will continue until a resolution is reached.
Transport secretary shifts blame to RMT and asks them to ‘stop wasting time’
Transport secretary Grant Shapps has shifted blame to the RMT union workers and said that “the only people responsible for the massive public disruption this week is them.”
He said that “I have had absolutely nothing to do with either the issuing of a letter from Network Rail, the employer, to the RMT — or any request to withdraw it.
“I understand that the letter makes no mention of 2,900 redundancies, but I do know it confirmed Network Rail would be introducing desperately needed reforms for the industry after the union chose strike action instead of further talks.”
He accused RMT of deflecting and urged RMT union general secretary Mick Lynch and his members “to stop wasting time making false claims in the media and instead return to the negotiating table so an agreement can be reached.”
ICYMI: RMT chief Mick Lynch reveals his unlikely political hero
Mick Lynch revealed his political hero during an interview. “An Irish, socialist republican,” Mr Lynch said of his hero.
Watch the video to find out who it is:
Mick Lynch revealed his unlikely political hero during an appearance on Peston.The RMT chief named James Connolly as the man who inspires him, before giving the presenter a history lesson.“An Irish, socialist republican,” Lynch said of Connolly.“He educated himself and he started non-sectarian trade unionism in Ireland, and he was a hero of the Irish revolution.”Connolly founded the Irish Socialist Republican Party in 1896 and was one of the leaders in the 1916 Easter Rising.Click here to sign up for our newsletters.
Union boss Mick Lynch isn’t quite the pantomime villain ministers expected
Lynch is riding the kind of wave Jeremy Corbyn enjoyed at the height of his unexpected ascent to the Labour leadership in 2015, Cathy Newman writes in this Indy Voices piece:
Lynch is riding the kind of wave Corbyn enjoyed at the height of his unexpected ascent to the Labour leadership in 2015
Disruptions to continue today as only 60% of trains will run
Disruptions are set to continue on Friday as only 60 per cent of the trains will run today.
The third rail strike is scheduled for Saturday, and the RMT union boss has said that more strikes will likely happen if talks fail.
På torsdag, talks between Network Rail and the RMT union took place but no resolution was achieved. Rundt 40,000 RMT members at Network Rail and 13 train operators walked out again yesterday.
Network Rail chief says collapse of talks ‘hugely frustrating’
Tim Shoveller, the chief negotiator for Network Rail has said that the collapse of talks between them and the unions is “hugely frustrating.”
He said that he had hoped to stop Wednesday’s strike — the second day of the rail strikes — and that it was frustrating as the strike was causing massive disruptions.
Network Rail has, derimot, blamed RMT — and not the government — for stalling negotiations.
Mr Shoveller said that they thought that they had struck a deal on Wednesday until the RMT leadership left the room to consult their board.
Rundt 40,000 RMT members at Network Rail and 13 train operators walked out again on Thursday.
The RMT is seeking a pay rise of at least 7 per cent for its members, while employers have offered a maximum of 3 prosent.
More strikes likes to happen, union head says
The RMT union chief Mick Lynch has said that more rail strikes are “extremely likely” if talks between rail bosses and unions continue to fail.
Another walkout is scheduled for tomorrow.
Mr Lynch has accused the government of blocking a deal but the government has refused this claim.
Downing Street has demanded that the unions call off the strikes “as quickly as possible” but Mr Lynch was earlier quoted as saying by the BBC that Saturday’s industrial action might not be the last.
He said talks would continue and fresh strikes might happen “if and when there needs to be a new phase of industrial action. But if we don’t get a settlement, it’s extremely likely there will be.”