Rail and tube strikes will go ahead next week as the talks between the stakeholders have failed. The Rail, Maritime and Transport union has claimed that they have failed to reach an agreement with Network Rail, train operators and London Underground. Moreover, they stated that talks were halted as the parties failed to resolve issues related to pay, jobs and working conditions. Therefore, the RMT union has announced to carry out strikes across England, Scotland and Wales.
Britain’s largest strike
Britain’s largest rail strike in more than 30 years will commence from coming Tuesday. Moreover, the strike will continue for one week and will cause severe disruptions to train service. It is expected that about 40,000 workers will take part in this strike. The negotiations were going on for the past few weeks among with Network Rail, train operators and London Underground. However, RMT says that the did not reach a ‘viable’ settlement. Hence, they will go ahead with the strike during next week. Despite the best efforts of our negotiators, no viable settlements to the disputes have been created. “It has to be restated 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.” RMT’s general secretary, Mick Lynch commented in a statement.
Network Rail’s stance
On the other hand, the Department of Transport termed the union’s decision as disappointed. Moreover, the they feel that the strikes should always be the last resort. A Network Rail spokesperson said that they were serious in trying to find a solution and were willing to offer decent pay rise to the employees. In addition, Network Rail said that the union dismissed the talks during an ongoing negotiation process. They had another negotiation session planned for Sunday.
A Department for Transport spokesperson said the government had spent £16bn to keep the railways running during the pandemic. However, the railway is on life support now. Hence, he is fearing that the passenger may stop choosing rail travel in future if these disruptions will continue.
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