New transport strikes will cause even more chaos in the journeys of train, metro and bus passengers | UK News

Passengers on trains, subways and buses face four days of misery on the journey as tens of thousands of workers stage a new round of strikes.

These last months, several strikes were conducted in the context of a long-standing dispute over wages, jobs and working conditions.

From Thursday, Network Rail, train companies, London Underground and the capital’s buses will be hit with walkouts, causing disruption to workers, commuters and fans traveling to events, including a cricket test match at Lords.

The industrial action will affect services through the end of the weekend.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT), Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) and Unite union will be involved after ongoing talks failed to break deadlocks.

When are the strikes?

RMT members from Network Rail and 14 rail operators, TSSA members from seven companies and Unite members also from Network Rail will go out on Thursday, causing a ripple effect on services on Friday morning.

Friday services will also be rocked by strikes by RMT and Unite members on the London Underground, as well as Unite members on London United bus routes.

On Saturday, the same groups of workers, excluding members of the London Underground, will strike again.

Sunday morning train services will be affected.

Train services on Thursday and Saturday will be significantly reduced, with only around a fifth and half of lines closed.

Trains will only run between 7:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on both strike days, and picket lines will be set up outside stations across the country.

People who cannot travel on Thursday or Saturday can use their ticket either the day before or until August 23, or request a refund.

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What are the railway workers asking for?

“The railway operating companies have not offered anything new”

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said members of his union are more determined than ever to protect their pensions, achieve a decent pay rise, job security and good working conditions, and that ‘will not tolerate being bullied or deceived’.

“Network Rail has made no improvements to its previous salary offer and the rail operating companies have offered us nothing new,” he said.

He also claimed Tube bosses were in ‘secret negotiations’ with the government over job cuts and that Network Rail threatened to ‘force mandatory redundancies’ if the strikes continued.

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“RMT will continue to negotiate in good faith, but we cannot tolerate being bullied or deceived into accepting a raw deal for our members,” he added.

“The government must end its interference in these disputes, so that the employers can reach a negotiated settlement with us.”

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch on a picket line outside Euston Station in London as rail, maritime and transport union members begin their national strike with London Underground workers in a bitter dispute over wages, jobs and conditions.  Picture date: Tuesday June 21, 2022.

“This Can’t Last”

TSSA members taking action include staff working in ticket offices, stations, control rooms, engineering, as well as planning, scheduling and other support roles.

The union is asking for guarantees of non-forced dismissal, a salary increase in line with the cost of living and promises of non-unilateral modification of employment conditions.

“Our rail industry members are entering the third or fourth year of a wage freeze,” said TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes.

“Meanwhile, food and fuel bills are skyrocketing, and the Tory’s cost of living crisis is impoverishing working people. Enough is enough – it can’t go on.

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“For many of our members this is the first time they have taken industrial action – it is a last resort and not something a railway worker takes lightly.”

He added that railway workers are “putting their lives at risk” during the COVID pandemic, but negotiations are now hampered by the government, preventing employers from “making a reasonable offer” to those same employees.

“Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and the Department of Transport must make a reasonable offer on wages and job security – either come to the table themselves or allow employers to negotiate freely,” did he declare.

“We won’t back down until our members get the pay, conditions and job security they deserve.”

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Trains at a standstill in London stations

What does the transport secretary think?

Mr Shapps described the industrial action as an example of unions ‘determined to cause as much misery as possible’ for taxpayers, who ‘disbursed £600 per household to ensure no railway workers lost their jobs during the pandemic “. .

He tweeted: “It can’t be right for the country to be held to ransom by union bosses seeking to protect outdated labor practices that have no place in the 21st century.”

It comes as the Daily Mail reported details of Mr Shapp’s 16-point plan to tackle the strikes, with the paper saying such a plan could include ending the government’s ban on using powers to stop the strikes if they could create a “national emergency”. .

Many reacted negatively to news of the strike, with Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines saying it “saddens” him to see further disruption to the rail network.

Steve Montgomery, who chairs the Rail Delivery Group, also hit back, saying the action imposes “even more uncertainty on passengers and businesses”.

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