Politics

Rail strikes: ‘Not helpful’ for UK Government to intervene in talks, says Downing Street


Downing Street mentioned the dispute was between the unions and the employers and it “wouldn’t be helpful” for ministers to become involved.

Services on the railways and London Underground will likely be crippled from Tuesday within the greatest walkout within the trade for greater than 30 years in a row over pay, jobs and situations.

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Members of the general public journey via Queen Street station forward of a deliberate three-day strike in Glasgow. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at Network Rail (NR) and 13 practice operators will strike on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, with solely round one in 5 trains working and disruption to companies on days following the motion.

The RMT and Unite can be holding a 24-hour walkout on London Underground which can trigger enormous disruption to the Tube.

The TUC is looking on the Westminster Government to undertake a optimistic function within the dispute, saying it was “inflaming tensions” with feedback resembling threatening to “revoke” employees’ authorized rights.

But the Prime Minister’s official spokesman mentioned: “Talks are continuing today but the Government won’t be taking part in them.”

The spokesman mentioned the practice operators believed it was not “the Government’s place to be at the table and it would not be helpful to the ongoing discussions to insert the Government into the negotiating process at this stage”.

The spokesman acknowledged the strikes could be “extremely difficult” for individuals who should journey on Tuesday.

But the spokesman added: “We believe we are seeking to offer a fair and reasonable pay rise and modernise the railway services for the long term, and we need to get rid of some of these outdated rules and procedures, some of which have not been updated for decades and which don’t serve the public.”

The TUC mentioned ministers in Westminster have been insisting on imposing cuts and planning to alter the regulation in order that employers can draft in company employees throughout industrial motion, which it added was harking back to the motion not too long ago taken by P&O.

TUC common secretary Frances O’Grady mentioned: “The Government has the power to help end this dispute but rather than working in good faith to find a negotiated settlement, ministers are inflaming tensions and trying to pitch worker against worker.

“Instead of threatening to do a P&O on these workers and rip up their rights, ministers should be getting people around the table to help agree a fair deal.”

Ms O’Grady mentioned no person takes strike motion calmly, however maintained that rail employees had been left with “no other option”.

“Many rail staff who will be hit hardest – such as caterers and cleaners – are on low and average earnings. It’s insulting to ask them to take yet another real-terms pay cut when rail companies took £500 million in profits during the pandemic,” she mentioned.

“If these cuts go ahead thousands of safety-critical and frontline jobs will be lost, with train services at risk too.

“We need a better vision for the future of rail than commuters packed on unsafe trains like sardines.”

A Department for Transport spokesperson mentioned: “Strikes should always be the last resort, not the first, so it is hugely disappointing and premature that the RMT is going ahead with industrial action.

“The Government committed £16 billion – or £600 per household – to keep our railways running throughout the pandemic while ensuring not a single worker lost their job.

“The railway is still on life support, with passenger numbers 25 per cent down and anything that drives away even more of them risks killing services and jobs.

“Train travel for millions more people is now a choice, not a necessity. Strikes stop our customers choosing rail and they might never return.”

A Rail Delivery Group spokesperson mentioned: “We are acutely aware of the cost-of-living pressures being felt by workers and families across the UK.

“Every business wants to support their staff and the railway is no exception.

“But as an industry we have to change our ways of working and improve productivity to help pay our own way – the alternatives of asking taxpayers to shoulder the burden or passengers to pay higher fares when they too are feeling the pinch simply isn’t fair.”

The strikes will have an effect on numerous occasions together with the Glastonbury pageant and London live shows by Elton John and the Rolling Stones, in addition to college exams.



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