‘Biggest railway strike in modern history’ to continue next week after wage talks collapse


Around 40,000 rail and metro union members are set to strike next week, threatening widespread travel chaos as half of Network Rail lines close during the action

Rail strikes are set to take place in the UK next week

Railway and metro strikes will continue next week after wage talks break down.

It is expected to be the biggest railroad strike in modern history, with 40,000 union members quitting.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said it had discussions over the past few weeks at senior levels with Network Rail, train operators and the London Underground.

General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “Despite the best efforts of our negotiators, no viable settlement of disputes has been created.”

RMT members from Network Rail and 13 train operators will strike on June 21, 23 and 25.

Tube workers will strike on June 21 to coincide with the first railway strike, threatening widespread travel chaos.

The RMT said members were striking for job cuts and below-inflation pay rises as the government cut funding to National Rail and Transport for London.







Half of Network Rail lines set to be out of action during strike
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Image:

Andy Rain/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)


Network Rail previously warned that around half of its lines would close during the industrial action.

Many parts of the country will have no service, including lines going north to Glasgow and Edinburgh, and to Penzance in Cornwall.

Bournemouth in Dorset, Swansea in South Wales, Holyhead in North Wales, Chester in Cheshire and Blackpool in Lancashire will also not be served on strike days.

Mr Lynch said: “It must be reaffirmed that the source of these disputes is the Conservative Government’s decision to cut £4billion in funding for our transport systems – £2billion from the National Railway and £2billion billion pounds from Transport for London.







Network Rail said its services would be ‘significantly compromised’
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Image:

Andy Rain/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)


“As a result of this government imposed transport austerity, the companies that employ them have made decisions to trash the railway pension scheme and the Transport for London scheme, cutting benefits, making the staff longer and becoming poorer in retirement, while paying higher contributions. ”

Mr Lynch said thousands of jobs were being cut across the rail networks and workers were facing pay rises below inflation.

“Faced with this massive attack on our people, the RMT cannot be passive.

“So today, after hearing reports of the discussions that took place, we confirm that the strike scheduled for June 21, 23 and 25 will continue.







RMT general secretary Mick Lynch says Tory cuts were behind the strike
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Image:

Phil Harris)


“We want a transport system that works for the benefit of people, for the needs of society and our environment – ​​and not for private profit.

“We call on the entire labor movement and workers to rally in support of the RMT and our members in this struggle.”

Network Rail boss Andrew Haines said: “Make no mistake, the level of service we will be able to provide will be significantly compromised and passengers should take this into account and plan ahead and not travel only if it is really necessary.”

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Those who have to cross the country on a strike day without any other means of transport must book in advance.

The last train from Manchester to London will leave at 2.47pm and the last from Norwich to London at 4pm.

The number of services in service is expected to be around 4,500 compared to the normal 20,000, Network Rail said.

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