3.9k Share this

Holidaymakers could be braced for a summer of chaos as unions are threatening the biggest rail strike in modern history in June in a row over jobs and pay. 

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union is considering bringing 15 train services across the country including Govia Thameslink Railway, Avanti West Coast, and West Midlands Trains to a grinding halt. 

The union has blamed Network Rail‘s planned to cut at least 2,500 safety-critical maintenance jobs as part of a £2 billion reduction in spending on the network. 

RMT has also taken aim at train operators looking to freeze pay to combat the lowest passenger numbers in over 150 years.    

The ballot of the 40,000 train workers opens on April 26 and closes on May 24 so strike action could begin in June.   

Families and commuters also could be hit by huge disruptions on the London Underground and some airports as unionised workers at these services also consider strikes.  

Industrial action in London on the Central and Victoria lines every Friday and Saturday is ongoing after the capital was nearly shut down in March. 

This all comes as nearly 500,000 bins are set to not be collected as the result of strike action during April and May and Post Office workers are set for a walk-out in May. 

Passengers hoping to enjoy a well earned break are not just facing travel chaos from a ballot of 40,000 train workers who are part of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union but also from some in the airline sector (Pictured: Crowds of people pour into Waterloo mainline station)

Passengers hoping to enjoy a well earned break are not just facing travel chaos from a ballot of 40,000 train workers who are part of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union but also from some in the airline sector (Pictured: Crowds of people pour into Waterloo mainline station)

Passengers hoping to enjoy a well earned break are not just facing travel chaos from a ballot of 40,000 train workers who are part of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union but also from some in the airline sector (Pictured: Crowds of people pour into Waterloo mainline station)

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union is considering bringing 15 train services across the country including Govia Thameslink Railway, Avanti West Coast, and West Midlands Trains to a grinding halt. Pictured: Southern Rail trains stand at Selhurst Depot, south of London

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union is considering bringing 15 train services across the country including Govia Thameslink Railway, Avanti West Coast, and West Midlands Trains to a grinding halt. Pictured: Southern Rail trains stand at Selhurst Depot, south of London

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union is considering bringing 15 train services across the country including Govia Thameslink Railway, Avanti West Coast, and West Midlands Trains to a grinding halt. Pictured: Southern Rail trains stand at Selhurst Depot, south of London

Full list of train lines that could come to halt if RMT strike goes ahead  

  • Chiltern Railways 
  • Cross Country Trains
  • Greater Anglia 
  • LNER
  • East Midlands Railway
  • c2c
  • Great Western Railway 
  • Northern Trains
  • South Eastern Railway
  • South Western Railway Island Line
  • Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) which includes Gatwick Express
  • Transpennine Express
  • Avanti West Coast
  • West Midlands Train
  • Network Rail 
<!—->

Advertisement

The RMT this month also caused a limited service of the TransPennine Express, whose members are also considering the June walk-out, due to strikes over Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

More strikes on this service, which operate the Manchester to Edinburgh and Glasgow routes, are planned for all Sundays until June and the 16 and 17 April, 30 April and 1 May and 4 May and 5 June. 

With further travel chaos in the summer looming, Tim Shoveller, Network Rail’s regional director, said: ‘Our railway has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, and even as passenger numbers start to recover, we know travel habits and passenger demand have changed and the industry has to change too.

‘We cannot keep relying on Government handouts, and so we must work together with train operators and our trades unions to save millions of pounds and deliver a more efficient railway.

‘Our modernisation programme aims to build a sustainable future that delivers for passengers and creates better and safer jobs for our people.

‘We are disappointed that the RMT has taken this decision and urge them again to work with us, not against us, as we build an affordable railway fit for the future.’

Mr Shoveller added: ‘We would not consider any changes that would make the railway less safe.’ 

The Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators and the British rail industry, said it has faced ‘unprecedented shock’ to the sector since Covid.  

A spokesperson for the RDG said: ‘The pandemic was an unprecedented shock for the railway, with the lowest passenger numbers in over 150 years and record levels of public funding to keep it running.

‘Our whole focus now should be securing a thriving future for rail that adapts to new travel patterns and takes no more than its fair share from taxpayers, instead of staging premature industrial action which would disrupt passengers’ lives and put the industry’s recovery at risk.’ 

The ballot of the 40,000 train workers opens on April 26 and closes on May 24 so strike action could begin in June. Pictured: London Bridge railway station in London

The ballot of the 40,000 train workers opens on April 26 and closes on May 24 so strike action could begin in June. Pictured: London Bridge railway station in London

The ballot of the 40,000 train workers opens on April 26 and closes on May 24 so strike action could begin in June. Pictured: London Bridge railway station in London

Govia Thameslink Railway (including Gatwick Express) could also be set for strikes

Govia Thameslink Railway (including Gatwick Express) could also be set for strikes

Govia Thameslink Railway (including Gatwick Express) could also be set for strikes 

The RMT is considering bringing 15 train services across the country including Greater Anglia, LNER, East Midlands Railway, c2c, Avanti West Coast, and West Midlands Trains to a grinding halt as train operators are looking to freeze pay to combat the lowest passenger numbers in over 150 years (stock image)

The RMT is considering bringing 15 train services across the country including Greater Anglia, LNER, East Midlands Railway, c2c, Avanti West Coast, and West Midlands Trains to a grinding halt as train operators are looking to freeze pay to combat the lowest passenger numbers in over 150 years (stock image)

The RMT is considering bringing 15 train services across the country including Greater Anglia, LNER, East Midlands Railway, c2c, Avanti West Coast, and West Midlands Trains to a grinding halt as train operators are looking to freeze pay to combat the lowest passenger numbers in over 150 years (stock image) 

TFL workers to be balloted for industrial action in a dispute over pensions 

Transport workers in London are to be balloted for industrial action in a dispute over pensions.

Members of Unite employed at Transport for London (TfL) and London Underground will vote in the coming weeks on whether to launch a campaign of industrial action.

The union said workers have been told that the value of their pensions will be cut and a final salary scheme will end following a central government-demanded review in return for pandemic-recovery funding.

Unite regional officer Simon McCartney said: ‘Our members are dedicated to keeping London moving. Now they are being told that they will be poorer in old age. 

‘This is an appalling way to treat a loyal and committed workforce.

‘Workers are balloting for industrial action as a last resort. Despite repeated calls to management there have been no guarantees on pensions or job cuts.

‘Strike action would inevitably cause severe disruption to public transport throughout London.’

Unite’s members at TfL are spread across different parts of the organisation including Dial-a Ride, London Underground and Croydon trams.

The union said its members are also in dispute over pay and the threat of job losses.

The ballot will close on 26 May. If members vote in favour of industrial action, strikes could begin by mid-June, although Unite said action is likely to be co-ordinated with other unions who also have members in TfL.

<!—->

Advertisement

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: ‘Railway workers have had to contend with pay freezes, the prospect of losing their jobs and repeated attacks on their terms and conditions.

‘Removing 2,500 safety-critical jobs from Network Rail will spell disaster for the public, make accidents more likely and will increase the possibility of trains flying off the tracks. 

‘The way for trade unions to effectively take on the cost-of-living crisis is to stand up for their members at work and take industrial action when employers are not moved by the force of reasoned argument.

‘A national rail strike will bring the country to a standstill, but our members’ livelihoods and passenger safety are our priorities.’ 

The ballot which opens on April 26 and closes on May 24 will be among RMT members on lines such as  East Midlands Railway, South Eastern Railway, South Western Railway, Island Line, and West Midlands Trains. 

RMT members employed by contractors Churchill to clean trains will also walk out from 27 April to 7 May on Govia Thameslink, Eurostar, Southeastern and HS1. 

Transport for London (TfL) workers will also consider strike action while Post Office workers who are members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) will walk out on May 3.

The union said workers have been told that the value of their pensions will be cut and a final salary scheme will end following a central government-demanded review in return for pandemic-recovery funding. 

The ballot will close on 26 May. If members vote in favour of industrial action, strikes could begin by mid-June, although Unite said action is likely to be co-ordinated with other unions who also have members in TfL. 

Post Office workers are to stage a one-day strike in a dispute over pay.

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) will walk out on May 3 after voting overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action.

The union said the strike is over a pay freeze for 2021 and the offer of a 2% increase from April this year, alongside a £250 one-off lump sum. 

Union officials said the offer was ‘exceptionally poor’, especially as RPI inflation has reached 9%. 

Unite members who are employed by Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) are also considering strike action (Stock Heathrow image)

Unite members who are employed by Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) are also considering strike action (Stock Heathrow image)

Unite members who are employed by Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) are also considering strike action (Stock Heathrow image)

FACT BOX TITLE

Post Office workers are to stage a one-day strike in a dispute over pay.

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) will walk out on May 3 after voting overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action.

The union said the strike is over a pay freeze for 2021 and the offer of a 2% increase from April this year, alongside a £250 one-off lump sum.

Union officials said the offer was ‘exceptionally poor’, especially as RPI inflation has reached 9%.

CWU official Andy Furey said: ‘Despite this union’s best attempts to avoid strike action, the Post Office has displayed no interest whatsoever in meaningful negotiations.

‘As such, workers have delivered an overwhelming mandate for strike action.

‘The current offer of a mere 2% pay rise over two years is nothing short of an insult to these key workers who provided exemplary services to this nation during the pandemic.

‘As the cost-of-living crisis mounts, working people across the country are facing stark realities.

‘This isn’t any less true of Post Office employees, who deserve far better than the degrading offer currently on the table.

‘Post Office management need to understand that by undervaluing these workers, they have provoked real anger across the country.

‘We urge them to get round the table with us and reach a decent, fair agreement that shows respect for Britain’s key workers who kept post offices open for society during the pandemic.’

The dispute involves counter staff, as well as those in clerical, administration and call centres.

The CWU said all so-called crown post offices will be affected by the walkout as well as smaller sub-post offices.

<!—->

Advertisement

The dispute involves counter staff, as well as those in clerical, administration and call centres.

The CWU said all so-called crown post offices will be affected by the walkout as well as smaller sub-post offices.

Unite members who are employed by Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) are also considering strike action. 

It said 200 of its cargo handlers and truckers could also vote for strike action at Heathrow in a pay dispute and has warned airport chaos will continue if the sector does not get a grip.   

Their members ‘build’ the freight cargos and then truck them to points at the airport for loading onto airlines such as Air China, American Airlines, Etihad, Singapore and Thai. 

They also deal with unloaded cargo from passenger flights, so a strike could cause havoc not just to freight movements, but to passengers boarding and leaving aircraft. 

Unite regional officer Kevin Hall said: ‘WFS’s rivals have recognised the current economic situation and now WFS needs to enter into meaningful negotiations. 

‘Any industrial action will cause chaos to the freight operations of WFS’ clients, which include a number of prestige international airlines, such as American Airlines.’

Its ballot of members closes on Wednesday 27 April. 

It also called off its strike action at Luton Airport over Easter as airline passengers have already endured waiting days at British airports for luggage at carousels, cancelled flights, enormous queues to check in and just get through security as the sector struggles to return post-Covid.   

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham also said: ‘We warned the aviation sector repeatedly not to use the cover of Covid to slash jobs and pay. This would render it unable to meet demand when passengers returned.

‘Now the sector is suffering from a chronic inability to attract new staff because workers are not attracted to an industry where pay is poor and conditions are lousy.

‘Bargain-basement wages and insecure jobs must be consigned to the past if the sector wants to get back on track.

‘It is pretty simple – if you want to thrive, treat your workers with respect and don’t attack their jobs, pay and conditions.’ 

Added to the overwhelming number of strikes planned or being considered is also rubbish workers that deliver to nearly 500,000 households in the country.   

Northampton town’s bin workers voted for industrial action – which could affect 94,000 homes – and could take place as early as 27 April.

A total of 220,000 homes could be affected as 200 Biffa workers go on strike from Tuesday 3 May until Friday 13 May. 

There will then be a further two week strike from Monday 23 May until Friday 3 June.

Following an industrial action ballot in which Unite members voted by a majority of 98 per cent to strike in a dispute over widespread bullying within the Cardiff City Council Waste Services, waste service workers employed by Cardiff City Council will start six weeks of continuous strike from 22 April.

This will affect a total of 147,665 households. 

Unite’s Ms Graham said: “Workers at Cardiff Council have had enough of the toxic workplace bullying. 

‘Unless the council urgently resolves our grievances then six weeks of strike action will start in just nine day’s time. 

‘Our members are completely united and determined to win this fight for justice and they will receive the full support of Unite during the strike.’

Source: dailymail

3.9k Share this
You May Also Like

AC Milan’s ‘Ultras’ slap down fellow fans who ran on to the pitch after their Serie A title win

That’s one way to deal with the pitch invader problem! AC Milan’s…

Gas Prices Increased by over 47 Cents in Last Month Alone

Gas prices have increased by over 47 cents in the last month…

Russian ships ‘load up with stolen Ukrainian grain’ amid warnings of ‘huge migration problem’

Russian ships have been loading up with stolen Ukrainian grain while Vladimir…

Ukraine war: Belarus checking combat readiness of army equipment stores

Belarus has begun checking the ‘combat readiness’ of equipment in long term…

Johnny Depp is back on the stand as he recounts blowout fights with Amber Heard

Johnny Depp was back in witness box Wednesday morning to answer questions…

Liz Truss hits back at ‘appeasement’ calls for Ukraine to cede territory to Russia

‘We must see this through’: Liz Truss hits back at ‘appeasement’ calls…

Charles steps out for a visit to a Ukrainian refugee centre

The Prince of Wales has spoken out about the ‘nightmare situation’ in…

Scott Disick enjoys his own taste of Italy while eating a bowl of pasta after wedding snub

Scott Disick enjoyed his own taste of Italy after getting snubbed from…