Rail workers have the “strength and determination” to weather the biggest rail strikes in 30 years, a transport union chief said, as an insider warned strikes could continue until Christmas.
RMT union deputy secretary general John Leach said workers were prepared for a “war of attrition” during wage negotiations with ministers.
Meanwhile, a union source told The Daily Telegraph that the RMT had a “six-month strike mandate”.
Rail and London Underground services are paralyzed from midnight in the industry’s largest strike for more than 30 years in a row over wages, jobs and conditions.
Despite speculation that a deal would be reached to avert the strikes, ministers have now admitted they are likely to go ahead.
Unions have accused the government of creating divisions between railway workers and operators to escalate the dispute, while ministers said it is not their job to resolve the negotiations.
This is why the railway strikes really happen
Union action is taking place on a national and sustainable scale for the first time in decades, writes Sean O’Grady† The government is also getting aggressive – it’s all getting very, very ugly.
Read Sean’s full piece here:
Matt MathersJune 20, 2022 2:33 PM
Downing Street warns of wage hikes
Downing Street has urged companies to ‘watch out’ for rising inflation and consider wage moderation.
Widespread strikes for higher wages threaten as workers in various industries consider whether to follow railway workers in mass strikes as the cost of living shrinks wages in real terms.
But ministers and the Bank of England have warned that rising wages would push inflation even further.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson just said: “There is a global challenge we see, particularly around inflation at the moment, and we as a country must avoid doing anything that would further fuel inflationary pressures.
He said there are several factors that can fuel inflation. When pressed for pay, he said, “Certainly, pay increases can be one of those areas that can be detrimental.”
The Bank of England and the Treasury have warned of a wage-price spiral, such as that which occurred in the mid-1970s, with workers demanding higher wages in response to rising prices, which in turn drives prices up and induces workers to pay higher wages. demand wages.
Liam JamesJune 20, 2022 13:35
Government refuses to participate in last-minute talks to prevent strikes
The government will not participate in Monday’s latest talks to avert the railway strikes, Downing Street said.
Negotiations between the RMT union and rail operators continue with just six hours left before the first services are halted due to strikes.
Union leaders and the Labor party have called on the government to intervene in the negotiations, but ministers have said it is not their place to work on a resolution.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman just said: “Talks continue today, but the government will not participate.
“You have heard from train operators themselves who have said that it is not the government’s place to sit down and that it would not be helpful for the ongoing discussions to involve the government in the negotiation process at this stage.”
Liam JamesJune 20, 2022 13:13
Rail workers have ‘grit’ to survive strikes, union boss says
Rail workers have the “strength and determination” to get through the coming strikes, a transport union boss said.
John Leach, deputy secretary general of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), said workers were prepared for a “war of attrition” during wage negotiations with ministers.
He said: “The men and women in my union who keep Britain moving all over the rail network are some of the most determined, professional and committed people you will ever meet.
“They have kept this country moving through the pandemic, they keep the railways moving every day and it’s that kind of guts and determination that will mean they will stay with these negotiations and justice for themselves in that regard, until the end.
“That’s why we are so clear about that. We didn’t want to end up in this situation – it has to be said – but we are determined to get through this.”
Liam JamesJune 20, 2022 12:49 PM
Disabled passenger has to drag himself upstairs after train is cancelled
One wheelchair user described the moment he had to drag himself and his chair with his arms up a station staircase after saying staff refused to help him.
My colleague Lucy Thackray reports:
Matt MathersJune 20, 2022 11:57
A union boss has accused the chancellor of “hypocrisy” over his calls on public sector workers to “tighten their belts” amid the cost of living.
Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, said the chancellor has previously spoken to Sky News.
More comments from Mr Serwotka below:
Matt MathersJune 20, 2022 11:41
Lawyers vote to strike over legal aid funding amid court backlog
Lawyers have voted in a row to go on strike over funding for legal aid.
The Criminal Bar Association (CBA), which represents lawyers in England and Wales, said strikes will begin for several days from next week.
My colleague Thomas Kingsley will have more on this story when it comes in:
Matt MathersJune 20, 2022 11:25 am
Half of Glastonbury trains shut down in strike action
More than half of the trains for the Glastonbury Festival have been canceled due to railway strikes.
Tens of thousands of revelers will be forced to find alternative routes to the Pilton, Somerset site.
Great Western Railway (GWR) operates just five services from London Paddington to Castle Cary on Thursdays, with a total of 24 between Wednesday and Friday.
Before the strike was announced, 51 trains would run on the route in three days.
GWR told passengers: “We are planning to run schedules between Castle Cary and London Paddington during the Glastonbury Festival.
“Some services may be subject to changes in train times and we will be contacting customers who have already booked seats on those trains.”
Matt MathersJune 20, 2022 11:12
Summary: Dates and times of train strikes and affected services
Workers will walk out of the country tomorrow, Thursday and Saturday in the biggest strikes on British railways in 30 years.
Simon Calderour travel correspondent, has a description of why the strikes are happening and which services are affected.
Matt MathersJune 20, 2022 10:57
Minister rules out double-digit pay rise
As we have reported, Simon Clarke, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, was on the air to explain the government’s position on the railway strikes.
He basically ruled out a double-digit wage scheme for public sector workers in line with inflation.
Asked about pay increases in the context of the impending railway strike, Simon Clarke told Kay Burley on Sky News: “Public sector pay discipline really matters here.
“We have an inflation problem in this country… if we don’t want that problem to get worse or continue, then we have to be sensible with rewards.
“If we set prices that are above inflation in this landscape, we’re in a really tough position to drive down inflation, which in turn is clearly driving up the cost of living.”
Matt MathersJune 20, 2022 10:38 am