Travel chaos is about to erupt again as thousands leave their jobs in the biggest dispute in 33 years. Thousands of railway workers are due to stage three days of strikes later this month.
Members of Network Rail’s Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and 13 rail operators will quit on June 21, 23 and 25. The union said it would be the biggest railway strike since 1989.
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “Railway workers have been treated appallingly and despite our best efforts in negotiations the rail industry, with the support of the government, has failed to take their concerns seriously. We have a cost of living crisis, and it is unacceptable that rail workers are losing their jobs or facing another year of wage freezes while inflation is at 11.1% and rising.
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“Our union will now embark on a sustained industrial action campaign that will shut down the rail system. millions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This injustice is fueling our members’ anger and determination to get a fair settlement. RMT is open to serious negotiations with railway bosses and ministers, but they will have to come up with new proposals to avoid months of disruption on our railroads.
Network Rail Chief Executive Andrew Haines said: “We continue to meet with our unions to discuss their pay concerns and we are doing all we can to avoid a strike on the railway. We know the cost of living has increased and we want to give a raise to our employees, but the RMT must recognize that we are a public body and that any raise in salary must be affordable for taxpayers.
“Travel habits have changed forever and the railway must change too. We cannot expect to take more than our fair share of public funds, and so we must modernize our industry to put it on a solid financial footing for the future. will only lead to the decline of the industry and more job losses in the long term. There are two weeks left before the first scheduled strike. We will use this time to continue talking to our unions and, through compromise and common sense on both sides, we hope to find a solution and avoid the damage that a strike would cause to all parties involved. »
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