You are here: Home » International » News » Others
Business Standard

UK gears up for biggest rail strike over workers' pay in decades

A walkout by an estimated 40,000 workers on this week is set to impact all train services after the RMT Union blamed the 'dead hand' of government for the misery in store for passengers

Topics
labour unions | UK | Boris Johnson

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Passengers board a train bound for the west of England, ahead of a planned national strike by rail workers, at Paddington Station, in London (Photo: Reuters)
Passengers board a train bound for the west of England, ahead of a planned national strike by rail workers, at Paddington Station, in London (Photo: Reuters)

The is gearing up for its biggest rail strike over pay in 30 years after last-ditch talks between railway unions and transport bosses failed on Monday.

A walkout by an estimated 40,000 workers on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday is set to impact all train services after the RMT Union blamed the "dead hand" of government for the misery in store for passengers this week.

The government, on the other hand, blamed the unions for inconveniencing millions of students needing to travel for their exams, with British Prime Minister calling it an act of self-harm for rail workers.

"The crazy thing about this strike is it was called by the union bosses on false pretences that there would be no pay rises. That was never the case, said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

They called a strike that will inconvenience millions this week. It's totally wrong, totally unfair," he said.

Members of the RMT union are walking out in a dispute over pay, compulsory redundancies and safety concerns, as employers look to make savings on the railway network following the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said latest offers from publicly-owned Network Rail and private train operating companies had been rejected.

"What we've come to understand is the dead hand of this government is all over this dispute. Until they allow these employers to negotiate freely, I can't see we're going to get a resolution," said Lynch.

"We remain available for discussions during the action and after the action and between the strike dates if the companies want to engage with us," he said, after confirming that a new offer from train operators was rejected on Monday.

It is thought the union is asking for a 7 per cent pay rise and 2-3 per cent has been on the table, while inflation is heading towards 11 per cent.

Shapps has denied the government intervened in the dispute, saying "no minsters have ever been involved directly in these strike negotiations" and only the employers and union could reach an agreement.

Network Rail Chief Executive Andrew Haines has urged passengers to travel by train only if necessary this week as a reduced timetable will be in place until Sunday, with just 20 per cent of usual services expected to be running on strike days.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Mon, June 20 2022. 23:48 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.