RMT to stage new series of 48-hour strikes

The RMT is to stage more National Rail strikes in December and January, after talks between the union and management had failed to produce a new offer.

The walkouts by 40,000 staff have been called in pairs of 48-hour strikes separated by one day in each case, when disruption is also likely.

They will affect 14 train operators and Network Rail on 13-14 and 16-17 December, and on 3-4 and 6-7 January.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: ‘This latest round of strikes will show how important our members are to the running of this country and will send a clear message that we want a good deal on job security, pay and conditions for our people.

‘We have been reasonable, but it is impossible to find a negotiated settlement when the dead hand of government is presiding over these talks.

‘The employers are in disarray and saying different things to different people, sometimes at the same time. This whole process has become a farce that only the new secretary of state can resolve. When I meet him later this week, I will deliver that message.

‘In the meantime, our message to the public is we are sorry to inconvenience you, but we urge you to direct your anger and frustration at the government and railway employers during this latest phase of action.’

The Rail Delivery Group responded by saying: ‘We made real progress over the last fortnight of talks and for the first time in months we can see the outline of a credible deal.

‘Further strikes, especially in the run up to Christmas, will disrupt the first normal festive season our passengers have been able to look forward to since the Covid pandemic, taking even more money out of the pockets of railway staff, and will cause huge damage to the hospitality and retail sectors dependent on this time of the year for their businesses. We owe it to them to stay round the table.

‘Industrial action has already cost the industry millions in lost revenue, is stalling its post-pandemic recovery, and threatening its long-term sustainability.

‘We are asking the RMT to stay at the negotiating table, work with us towards a fair deal and end a dispute that is harming passengers, the industry, and their members.’

Meanwhile many trains will be cancelled on Saturday, when members of the drivers’ union ASLEF are set to walk out.

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