RAIL strikes are set to take place next week, causing misery for passengers.
More than 40,000 workers at Network Rail (NR) and 14 rail operating companies are set to strike in England in a dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will stand down on Wednesday, July 27, which could cripple rail services across the country.
The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) also announced a strike by its members at Avanti West Coast on the same day.
NR pointed out that all train operators could be affected by the July 27 strike, whether or not they have an individual dispute with the RMT, as signallers control train movements across the country.
Companies affected by the RMT strikes are: Network Rail, South Eastern, GTR (including Gatwick Express), Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry Trains, Greater Anglia, LNER, East Midlands Railway, c2c, Great Western Railway, Northern Trains, South Western Railway , TransPennine Express, Avanti West Coast and West Midlands Trains.
- Will there be strikes on the London Underground?
Transport for London (TfL) said that although the industrial action does not involve its staff, varying degrees of disruption are expected on the District and Bakerloo underground lines, London Overground and the Elizabeth line, which all share certain sections of track with Network Rail.
Customers are advised to check before travelling.
Passengers should also expect disruption on the morning of July 28, with a later start to services as signaling staff return to work.
- What are the strikes about?
NR introduces reforms. It comes as fewer passengers are traveling by train due to the pandemic, which has led to more people working from home.
They say a two-year, 8% deal with a mandatory no-layoff guarantee and other perks and extras was on the table, but the RMT walked out of talks.
- Why is the union going on strike?
The RMT said there had been no changes or improvements to the wage offers it had received and the threat of mandatory layoffs and dangerous 50% reductions in maintenance work had been raised.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said driver-only operations and the “trashing” of members’ terms and conditions had also been brought to the table by train operating companies.
- Are breakthroughs likely in this dispute?
There is a lot of bad blood around as NR accused the RMT of ‘obstinacy’ and called its action a ‘political campaign’ while the Department for Transport said the union was ‘determined to create more misery for the people. passengers across the UK. .
He added that the railway industry must modernize and enter the 21st century for the benefit of passengers and staff.
In turn, Mr Lynch said RMT members are “more determined than ever” to get a decent pay rise, job security and good working conditions and will not be intimidated or cajoled.
He added that the government must end its interference in the dispute so that the rail employers can reach a negotiated settlement.
- What will be the impact of the strike?
The strike will affect passengers traveling on holiday or attending events such as the Euro 2022 Women’s Semi-Final in Milton Keynes on July 27 and the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony in Birmingham the following day.
NR expects a “very limited” timetable to be available across the country on the day of the strike, with around 20% of services operating and some parts of the country without train services.
Special timetables are expected to be released this Saturday, but trains will start later and finish much earlier than usual. Passengers should expect disruptions and only travel if necessary.
- Will there be more strikes after this week?
Members of the Aslef drivers’ union from eight train operators across the country will go on strike on July 30.
Other RMT strikes are also scheduled for August 18 and 20.