Train strike 2022: What are the rail strikes about and why are they happening?

Train strike 2022: What are the rail strikes about and why are they happening?

Travel throughout the UK is ready to be disrupted for a lot of this week as the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union launches the greatest strike to hit the British rail community in 30 years.

Travellers to occasions resembling Glastonbury competition, the English vs New Zealand cricket match in Leeds and main gigs by the Rolling Stones and Elton John are having to re-think rail journeys and look into different transport.

Though there are solely three official strike days, Network Rail has warned passengers to anticipate disruption throughout the entire week, as the knock-on results of the 24-hour walkouts bleed into the days that observe.

But what’s the purpose for the disruption, and why are prepare staff putting?

Here’s every little thing we all know up to now.

Who is occurring strike?

Members of the RMT union, who voted on industrial motion in late May. In the poll, 89 per cent of those that responded backed the strikes.

Some work for Network Rail – which controls the infrastructure of the UK’s railways – whereas others work for 13 particular person prepare operators:

  • Avanti West Coast
  • c2c
  • Chiltern Railways
  • CrossCountry
  • East Midlands Railway
  • Greater Anglia
  • GWR
  • LNER
  • Northern
  • Southeastern
  • South Western Railway
  • TransPennine Express
  • West Midlands Trains

The union says some 40,000 rail staff in whole will stroll out on the three strike days in June.

Employees embrace catering workers, guards, engineering staff and signalling workers.

The walkouts will wipe out large swathes of rail community, significantly in Wales, Cornwall, Scotland and components of the North of England.

A skeleton community will function on the strike days, with trains beginning later than normal at round 7.30am and ending earlier at round 6.30pm.

In addition, London Underground staff are set to strike for twenty-four hours on 21 June, that means a lot of the Tube community might be closed on Tuesday.

What has the union mentioned about the industrial motion?

The union says it’s protesting authorities cuts, working situations and unsatisfactory pay rises towards rising inflation.

On 18 June, the RMT union launched an announcement saying: “In the past few weeks, discussions have been taking place at senior level with Network Rail, Train Operators and London Underground.

“Despite the best efforts of our negotiators no viable settlements to the disputes have been created.

“It has to be re-stated that the source of these disputes is the decision by the Tory government to cut £4bn of funding from our transport systems – £2bn from national rail and £2bn from Transport for London.

“As a result of this transport austerity imposed by the government, the employing companies have taken decisions to:

  • Savage the Railway Pension Scheme and the TFL scheme, cutting benefits, making staff work longer, and poorer in retirement, while paying increased contributions.
  • Thousands of job cuts across the rail networks.
  • Attacking terms, conditions and working practices in a form of internal fire and re-hire.
  • Cutting real pay for most of our members through lengthy pay freezes and below RPI inflation pay proposals.”

It says: “We want a transport system that operates for the benefit of the people, for the needs of society and our environment – not for private profit.

“Every worker in Britain deserves a pay rise that reflects the cost-of-living crises. All working people should have the benefit of good negotiated terms, conditions, working practices and occupational pensions that will ensure their living standards in retirement.”

RMT union chief Mick Lynch says the union has rejected a Network Rail supply of a 2 per cent pay rise with an additional 1 per cent enhance linked to job cuts. The union insists {that a} pay rise ought to mirror present inflation charges and the larger price of dwelling.

What have the prepare operators mentioned?

Steve Montgomery, group chair of the Rail Delivery Group, representing prepare operators, mentioned: “No one wins in the event of a strike. Staff lose pay, the industry loses vital revenue making it harder to afford pay increases, and passengers and businesses are disrupted.

“While we will keep as many services running as possible, sadly if this action goes ahead, significant disruption will be inevitable. We therefore urge passengers to plan their journeys carefully and find alternative ways to travel during the strike period where possible.”

“Instead of striking, we need the RMT leadership to work with us to secure a deal that is fair to our staff, fair to our passengers and fair to taxpayers,” he has mentioned.

Meanwhile, Network Rail’s chief negotiator, Tim Shoveller, mentioned: “I’m serious about trying to find a solution and work out a compromise that gives our people a decent pay rise, but it has to be affordable for taxpayers and fare payers.

“Our offers have so far been rejected, with union demands far from being affordable. We will continue to talk and to try and find a way through and avert this needless and damaging strike.”

What has the authorities mentioned?

Ultimately the authorities will determine what could be provided. The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, mentioned: “It is incredibly disappointing the RMT have decided to take action that could drive passengers away from the rail network for good.

“The pandemic has changed travel habits – with 25 per cent fewer ticket sales and the taxpayer stepping in to keep the railways running at a cost of £16bn, equivalent to £600 per household. We must act now to put the industry on a sustainable footing.”

Amid requires the authorities to step in, Mr Shapps instructed press it was not ministers’ place to intervene.

“In any pay discussion, in any negotiation over terms, over in this case modernisation, it’s always the employer and the union who need to get together to speak,” he mentioned.

Meanwhile, the Opposition has accused the authorities of wanting the strikes to go forward to “stoke divisions”, and “pouring petrol on the fire” by refusing to intervene.

Could the strikes be averted?

With the walkouts set to start out tomorrow, there’s virtually no probability the industrial motion might be averted at this stage.

Network Rail bosses are set to carry last-ditch talks with the RMT on Monday, however union bosses indicated at the weekend that there was little prospect of a breakthrough.

A Network Rail consultant mentioned: “We are in the room talking and there has been some movement. The chances are slim, but there is some hope.”

While the authorities says it desires to keep away from a strike, ministers resembling Grant Shapps have been scathing and dismissive of the union’s issues and motives.

Mr Shapps has mentioned calls to contain authorities in the strike negotiations are a “stunt”, calling the motion “a huge act of self-harm” and accusing the union of “gunning for this strike”.

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