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Train companies announce Christmas train strike dates that will cause nationwide chaos

Tom Wood

Published 
| Last updated 

Train companies announce Christmas train strike dates that will cause nationwide chaos

Train workers have announced they will strike in the lead up to Christmas, revealing a raft of new dates in December today.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) has today confirmed that there will be a number of 48-hour strikes in December and January due to ongoing disputes over pay, job safety, and conditions.

That means that more than 40,000 members of train and railways staff will leave their posts and take to the picket lines on December 13, 14, 16, and 17.

Then, there will be another strike on January 4, 5, 6 and 7, as well as an overtime ban in place from December 18 until January 2.

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: "We have been reasonable, but it is impossible to find a negotiated settlement when the dead hand of government is presiding over these talks."

Train strikes have been a regular occurrence since May 2022. Credit: PA Images/Alamy
Train strikes have been a regular occurrence since May 2022. Credit: PA Images/Alamy

Lynch – a popular figure amongst union members – said that the employers of the train staff were in ‘disarray’ and said that the whole negotiations had become a ‘farce’.

He also laid blame at the door of the government for stopping operators from bringing a new offer when two weeks of talks broke down.

He said: "Our message to the public is we are sorry to inconvenience you, but we urge you to direct your anger and frustration at the government and railway employers during this latest phase of action."

Just last week, members voted to give the RMT a six-month mandate for strikes, meaning that these planned actions could drag on through winter and as far as next May.

If a new offer isn’t made, Lynch has said that strikes will possibly continue well into spring 2023.

However, he added: “It could. I don’t want that, it’s not my plan.

“We don't have a plan for an end date or 'it's got to continue'. We're not in this for the sake of it.

“We want the companies to make us proposals that will settle the dispute.”

There are already planned strikes at the train drivers union ASLEF later this week, with employees and members at 12 different train companies set to strike on November 26.

RMT members will strike across December and January. Credit: Robert Evans/Alamy
RMT members will strike across December and January. Credit: Robert Evans/Alamy

Those companies are: Avanti West Coast; Chiltern Railways; CrossCountry; East Midlands Railway; Great Western Railway; Greater Anglia; London North Eastern Railway; London Overground; Northern Trains; Southeastern; Transpennine Express, and West Midlands Trains.

Downing Street has said that the train unions are ‘damaging the economy, stopping hard-working people getting to work’ with their demands for better pay, improved conditions, and safety of jobs.

Strikes have been ongoing in the UK since May, and represents the largest amount of strike action since the railways were privatised.

The dispute has also been deepened by the loss of 2,500 maintenance jobs at Network Rail.

Featured Image Credit: gerard ferry/Alamy Richard Holmes/Alamy

Topics: UK News, Money, Travel, Politics

Tom Wood
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