Network Rail and Transport for London workers to strike due to job loss and pay concerns
Network Rail and Transport for London workers are set to go on strike under the RMT and Unite unions, with services expected to be impacted from the beginning of service on 21 June through to 26 June 2022.
Credit: Transport for London
Transport for London (TfL) has advised customers not to travel on 21 June and early on 22 June 2022, unless necessary, due to planned industrial action being taken by the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) and Unite unions. Additionally, Network Rail has announced that a special railway timetable will be in operation across England, Scotland and Wales from 20 June to 26 June 2022 (inclusive) as a result of planned national rail strike action being taken by RMT.
The week of planned strikes across the country will impact London Underground (Tube), Overground, Elizabeth line and national rail services across the UK between 21 and 26 June 2022. Only around half of Britain’s rail network will be open on strike days, with a very limited service running on lines that will only be open from around 07:30 until 18:30.
This strike action comes as part of separate disputes with both the RMT over pensions, jobs and conditions, and with Unite over pay. TfL met the RMT and Unite unions at the conciliation service ACAS on the morning of 16 June 2022, though no resolution was reached. Pay talks with Unite and other recognised unions in the area are due to start imminently.
Andy Lord, TfL’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “The action on 21 June , taking place at the same time as the national rail strike, will have a severe impact on the London Underground network, resulting in very little to no service on all lines, which is why we’re encouraging people to avoid travel unless completely necessary, as the majority of Tube stations will be closed and services not running. Alternatives to the Tube are likely to be much busier than usual, and we expect the severe disruption caused by this strike to continue into the morning of 22 June .”
Andrew Haines, Network Rail’s Chief Executive, said: “Talks have not progressed as far as I had hoped, and so we must prepare for a needless national rail strike and the damaging impact that it will have. We, and our train operating colleagues, are gearing up to run the best service that we can for passengers and freight users.”
RMT’s 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 for railway workers to either lose their jobs or face another year of a pay freeze when inflation is at 11.1pc and rising.”
“Our union will now embark on a sustained campaign of industrial action which will shut down the railway system… RMT is open to meaningful negotiations with rail bosses and ministers, but they will need to come up with new proposals to prevent months of disruption on our railways,” he added.
Unite’s General Secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “It is not acceptable in any way, shape or form that the dedicated workers at TfL and London Underground are being told to pay the price of the pandemic with their pensions, pay cuts and threats to their jobs. Unite’s members have their union’s total support. These unwarranted threats to our members’ retirement savings, pay and jobs must be taken off the table at once, or strike action will hit the London’s transport network.”
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