Latest train strike: Shapps urges workers to call off Saturday rail action as chaos looms

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has called on striking railway workers to call off the third walkout of the week scheduled for Saturday as the weekend travel chaos looms.

Posting on Twitter this afternoon, he said: ‘The unwarranted RMT strikes have not caused the massive overcrowding on buses or the heavy congestion on our roads that some feared.

“But the Union is harming the lives of the daily workers it claims to represent.

“They should call off Saturday’s strike now.”

Passengers have been warned to “only travel by train if necessary”, with just a fifth of services brought into service and half of lines closed as 40,000 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union ( RMT) are retiring for jobs, salaries and pensions. and conditions.

This week’s strikes are unlikely to mark the end of the disruption, with news that another union – the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) – will vote on industrial action throughout the summer.

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We’re pausing our live rail strike updates for the day, but join us tomorrow for the latest on this week’s third walkout as the weekend travel chaos looms.

Emily AtkinsonJune 24, 2022 7:34 p.m.

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Last trains on the TransPennine Express this afternoon

The TransPennine Express has released a list of the last trains running on its reduced service today.

Here is the list of the latest hotlines in progress on June 23 and 25:

16:11 – Sheffield at Cleethorpes

4.15pm – York to Manchester Piccadily

16:24 – Cleethorpes at Sheffield

16:27 – Manchester Piccadily at York

4.50pm – Preston to Manchester Airport

5.10pm – Manchester Airport to Preston

Thomas KingleyJune 23, 2022 11:00 a.m.

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Starmer’s stance on rail strikes ‘could come to an end’ Labor Party, union leader warns

A senior union official has warned that Sir Keir Starmer’s handling of railway workers’ strikes ‘could end’ the Labor Party.

Starmer has infuriated many on the left of the party by ordering Labor MPs to stay away from picket lines during the RMT dispute which shut down much of Britain’s rail network for a second day today.

The comment by Mick Whelan, general secretary of the train drivers’ union Aslef and co-chairman with Starmer of the Tulo organization which coordinates union support for Labour, reflects the depth of the division within the movement over the position of the leader.

Read the full story from our political editor, Andre Bécasse:

Thomas KingleyJune 23, 2022 11:33 am

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“The public is behind us”, says RMT Deputy General Secretary

RMT Deputy General Secretary Eddie Dempsey said he believed ‘the public is behind us’ in supporting the railway strikes.

He told the PA news agency: “It’s difficult for everyone but I think the public is behind us.

“They understand it’s a scandal that billions are being ripped from our industry at the same time that workers are being punished.

“Teachers, they are facing a cost of living crisis, (also) postal workers, telecoms, health personnel.

“We think there will be more demands for pay rises in the economy and we think that’s true.

“It is time for Britain to have a pay rise. Wages have been falling for 30 years and corporate profits are exploding. »

Thomas KingleyJune 23, 2022 11:45 a.m.

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Picketed railway workers receive food from commuters

Picket railway workers at Euston station said they were deluged with food by sympathetic commuters as they pledged to continue their strike.

“The public is definitely on our side, I’ve never seen so much support from the public,” said RMT regional organizer Kathy Mazur.

“See here – the food, the water, coming from members of the public disembarking,” she continued, pointing to two jars of mini M&S chocolate bites next to a stack of tall RMT vests. visibility.

“On Tuesday, the amount of food we had, we were giving it to the homeless. Really, really great support from the audience.

A passer-by, carrying a large suitcase up the steps of Euston, refused a leaflet but seemed sympathetic.

“It is what it is – they deserve a little more money, but we are in a vicious circle with inflation,” she said.

(Getty Images)

Thomas KingleyJune 23, 2022 12:05

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Millions more people working from home, says Virgin Media

Broadband provider Virgin Media O2 said it recorded a usage increase of up to 10% on the first day of the strikes on Tuesday, saying “millions more people are working from home” this week.

A spokesperson said the company saw a 5% weekly increase in upstream broadband traffic, due to increased video calling on platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Thomas KingleyJune 23, 2022 12:30 p.m.

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NEW: More railway workers will be voted for strikes

More railway workers are to vote on strikes, threatening further disruption in the industry through the summer, it was announced on Thursday.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) has served notice to vote on dozens of TransPennine Express (TPE) members for strike action and non-strike action in a dispute over wages, conditions and labor work security.

The union is demanding a mandatory no-layoff guarantee for 2022, no unagreed changes to terms and conditions and a pay rise that reflects the rising cost of living.

Voting opens on June 29 and closes in mid-July, so the earliest industrial action can be taken is July 27.

The TSSA is also voting its members in Network Rail, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, West Midlands Trains, Avanti West Coast, Northern, LNER, C2C and Great Western Railway (GWR) in a growing dispute across the railway.

TPE runs trains in the north of England and Scotland.

Thomas KingleyJune 23, 2022 12:50 p.m.

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Railways have a terrible idea, says PM

Boris Johnson has urged railway staff to work with the government as he called this week’s strikes a ‘terrible idea’.

The Prime Minister was speaking during a visit to the Rwandan capital, Kigali, while at home commuters and travelers faced disruption due to the second week’s second strike by railway workers.

Around 40,000 members of Network Rail’s Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and 13 train operators walked out again on Thursday after talks failed to resolve a bitter row over pay, jobs and conditions .

Only one in five trains are running, and they are mostly restricted to main lines, with around half of the network closed.

“I just think it’s important to remember that these strikes are not necessary. I think people should get around the table and fix it,” Johnson said.

The Prime Minister promised he wanted a “great future” for Britain’s railways, pointing to his own experience as mayor of London between 2008 and 2016.

“This is a government that invests more in railways than any previous government in the last 50 years,” he said.

Thomas KingleyJune 23, 2022 1:04 p.m.

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Rail strikes could be start of Britain’s ‘industrial conflict’, RMT official says

An RMT official has warned that the cost of living crisis means this week’s rail strikes could well be the start of industrial disputes in Britain.

Kathy Mazur, the first female regional organizer of the RMT, said: “I think people are just fed up, inflation is skyrocketing, no one has had a pay rise in three years.

“Our union has led the way on this and now people are starting to see exactly what is happening and you will see more of it.

“You will see more unions taking the same steps we have taken.”

Speaking outside Euston station in central London, Ms Mazur continued: ‘I went to five picket lines this morning and they were all strong.

“The members are in it for the long haul – it’s their jobs, their security, their pay and their pension, and they’re not ready to give that up.”

Thomas KingleyJune 23, 2022 1:30 p.m.

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Minimum Service Act for Railways ‘deserves further debate’, says Commons leader

Commons Leader Mark Spencer has suggested that the implementation of minimum service levels for the railways is “worthy of further debate”.

Tory MP Gareth Davies (Grantham and Stamford) said: ‘The strikes this week have been incredibly disruptive to so many of my constituents.

He added: “Would my right honorable friend accept a debate on the establishment of minimum service levels, similar to those in Italy and Spain, so that we can limit the harm that these strikes do to our people?”

Commons leader Mark Spencer said the strikes were causing “devastation” and encouraged unions “to come back to the table and negotiate directly with Network Rail”.

He added: “I thank the honorable gentleman for bringing this matter up again, I think it is something worth discussing further.”

Asked elsewhere during the session when the Government’s proposal on the use of agency workers during industrial action will be debated in the House of Commons, Mr Spencer said: ‘I don’t have to give the exact time and when it will be presented. ”

(Getty)

Thomas KingleyJune 23, 2022 1:50 p.m.

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