Politics

Rail strikes in Scotland will trigger ‘distress’ for passengers as blame recreation begins



The largest rail strike in 30 years will start at midnight inflicting “misery” for passengers throughout the nation as Tory ministers tried to shift the blame on to staff.

Members of the RMT union will stroll out for the primary of three separate days of strike motion on June 21 until an eleventh hour deal could be reached.

It means simply 5 routes in Scotland could have trains operating on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with giant components of the nation minimize off from the community utterly.

ScotRail is just not concerned within the dispute however providers north of the Border will nonetheless be disrupted as trains depend on Network Rail workers.

Labour and the SNP have all accused the UK Government of intentionally selecting a combat with railway staff and failing to have interaction a constructive means with union bosses.

Network Rail – which is finally managed by Tory ministers in Westminster – needs to slash a whole bunch of upkeep jobs that are considered as important by the RMT.

Chief Treasury secretary Simon Clarke stated at this time he was sorry for the “misery” the disruption will trigger – however claimed it was lower than the UK Government to resolve the dispute behind the most important walkout within the trade for greater than 30 years.

“I fear it is likely they will go ahead,” he stated. “I think the public do this week need to be aware there will be very substantial disruption and it is therefore sensible to make preparations for that.”

The strikes are set to cripple services on the railways and London Underground from Tuesday, with increased traffic expected to choke roads.

Labour’s Louise Haigh said the UK Government was “hobbling” the talks between unions and rail operators.

“At the moment, without the Government there, the negotiations are a sham,” she told the BBC.

“It’s not possible for them to find a resolution and avoid the dispute without the Government being represented at the talks, setting a mandate for the train operators and providing genuine scope in order to find a resolution.

“Without them there, it’s impossible for them to find a way forward and, therefore, it is inevitable that industrial action will happen.”

Clarke insisted the UK Government would “continue to support” negotiations between rail companies and unions but that it did not “control all the levers” and that getting involved would “confuse things”.

“Ultimately this is a matter between the employers – the train operating companies and Network Rail – and the trade unions, and the Government doesn’t sit directly as a part of those talks for a very good reason – that we don’t intervene in a specific process between an employer and the unions representing employees, but we are there to provide the support and enabling framework for those talks to succeed.”

He said the train operating companies and Network Rail were working to “deliver a sensible programme of reform and a sensible and fair pay deal” with the trade unions, and that “no-one is suggesting there’s some kind of pay freeze required here”.

With the RMT union calling for a seven per cent pay rise to keep up with soaring prices, Clarke ruled out increases in line with inflation, which the Bank of England forecast would top 11 per cent in the autumn.

“We have an inflation problem in this country… if we don’t want that problem to either intensify or prolong itself, then we need to be sensible around pay awards,” he said.

The Cabinet minister called for reforms of the country’s “seriously outdated” railway practices.

He said: “We need to see reform of some of the practices that make our railway a very unsustainable entity at the moment.”

SNP Gavin Newlands stated: “Whether its tube strikes in Labour-run London, or RMT strikes across Network Rail, it is imperative that these strikes aren’t used as a political football to attack workers who are only trying to get a better deal for themselves during a Tory-made cost of living crisis.

“Sadly although, that’s precisely what the UK authorities try to do – with Grant Shapps being nothing greater than a Tory cheerleader to this new Tory tradition conflict.

“Their actions are designed to undermine unions, while doing nothing to resolve the disputes. It is unacceptable that Network Rail employees have had no pay rise for two years and are under threat of compulsory redundancies.”

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