RMT members at Network Rail and 13 train operators walk out over pay, pensions, jobber og vilkår
A weekend of travel chaos is looming this weekend as rail workers prepare for their third day of industrial action this week.
Passengers have been warned to “only travel by train if necessary”, with only a fifth of services set to run and half of lines closed as 40,000 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union walk out over jobs, pay, pensions and conditions.
i mellomtiden, services on Friday reeled from a knock-on impact of Thursday’s streik, because of a delay to the start of services as signallers and control room staff declined to turn up for overnight shifts.
This week’s strikes are unlikely to be the end of the disruption, derimot, with an announcement that another union – the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) – will vote on industrial action throughout the summer.
The union’s general-secretary Manuel Cortes warned on Friday of “a long-running summer of discontent across our rail network” unless ministers either give the green light for operators to “make us a reasonable offer” or “come to the negotiating table and speak to us directly”.
Mick Lynch says rail workers ‘lauded as heroes’ in pandemic but now treated as ‘out of fashion’
Union boss Mick Lynch has said the government lauded rail workers as “heroes” during the Covid-19 pandemic, only to treat them as “out of fashion” now restrictions have lifted, min kollega Eleanor Sly rapporter.
Speaking on BBC One’s Question Time last night, the head of the RMT union said: “We were lauded as heroes by Grant Shapps, they worked all the way through the pandemic, they were not furloughed, and they kept our railway and transport systems going.
“But what they’re being told now as a result of that, is that you’re out of fashion, you’re out of date, somehow the terms and conditions that we’ve negotiated over many years and we think are a fair deal…”
Han la til: “We think that’s what every worker in Britain, in every business should have. But what we’re faced with now is a clampdown. And it’s a deliberate clampdown by the government… and they’re using the temporary phenomenon of Covid as an excuse to rip out and strip out terms and conditions.”
RMT staff are expected to walk out again on Saturday
Union boss warns of ‘long-running summer of discontent’
The general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) has warned of “a long-running summer of discontent” across the rail network, as the union moved to ballot its members on whether to strike over pay, conditions and job security.
“Our members at Greater Anglia are seeking basic fair treatment in the teeth of a crippling cost-of-living crisis,” Manuel Cortes said
“Rail workers were hailed as heroes in the pandemic and now they deserve a real terms pay rise which keeps pace with inflation, rather than shouldering the burden of the Tories’ economic meltdown.
“Our demands are simple – pay which reflects the times we live in, a deal which delivers job security, and no race to the bottom on terms and conditions.
“It’s time the government changed course. Instead of making cuts across our railway the Department for Transport should either give Greater Anglia and other companies the signal to make us a reasonable offer, or ministers should come to the negotiating table and speak to us directly.
“The alternative is a long-running summer of discontent across our rail network. Make no mistake, we are preparing for all options, including coordinated strike action which would bring trains to a halt.”
More rail workers to be balloted for strikes
More railway workers are to be balloted for strikes, with the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) serving notice to ballot its members at Greater Anglia for strike action and action short of strike – over pay, conditions and job security.
The union is demanding a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies for 2022, no unagreed changes to terms and conditions, and a pay increase which reflects the rising cost of living.
Voting starts on 29 juni, with the result due in mid-July, so the earliest date strike action could take place is 27 juli.
The TSSA is also balloting its members in Network Rail, Langrenn, East Midlands Railway, West Midlands Trains, Avanti vestkysten, Nordlig, LNER, C2C, Great Western Railway (GWR) and TransPennine Express.
TSSA members are found in a number of roles, including station staff and managers, conductors, driver managers, train crew managers and platform team leaders.
Expected strike impact on Edinburgh Pride ‘really quite sad’, organiser says
An organiser of Edinburgh Pride said it is “really quite sad” that thousands are expected to miss the annual event due to Saturday’s planned rail strikes.
Jamie Love, marketing director for Edinburgh Pride, said his team are expecting around 5,000 from in and around Scotland’s capital to attend, compared with more than 12,000 folk i 2019.
“It’s quite disappointing,” Mr Love, 27, fortalte PA-nyhetsbyrået. “As Pride organisers, our whole job relies on making pride accessible to those that really want to and maybe don’t have spaces like Pride anywhere near them.
“That’s the saddest and hardest part because obviously, those are the people who are going to be impacted the most. That will be really quite sad and I know that people will be really upset by that.”
Hendelsen, kicking off with a march at midday in the city centre, is partnered with London North Eastern Railway and is also sponsored by Mr Love’s marketing agency Monumental. But LNER’s regular Pride pop-up at Edinburgh Waverley, the city’s central station, will not take place due to the strike action.
‘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.