Train strike June 2022: PM ‘whipping up divisions’ ahead of rail disruptions, Khan says


Sadiq Khan has accused the government of “inciting” next week’s Tube strike.

The London mayor claimed Boris Johnson and Grant Shapps were “whipping up” division with the Transport for London funding deal.

He said: “The Tories are in government and this is classic deflecting from Shapps and Johnson who are responsible for this divisive politics, for whipping up them versus us, communities versus workers.”

It comes as more railway workers are to be balloted for strikes in escalating disputes over pay and jobs, increasing the threat of a summer of travel chaos.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) served notice to ballot hundreds of workers at Southeastern, saying it was demanding a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies, no unagreed changes to terms and conditions, and a pay increase which reflects the rising cost of living.

Further action could add to the three days of strikes scheduled on 21, 23 and 25 June.


All the trains running during the rail strike

During the planned nationwide rail strikes for three dates in late June, only 22 per cent of passenger train services will run – most of them on key links to and from London.

According to the RMT, it is “the biggest dispute on the network since 1989” and will involve 40,000 workers.

A senior rail source said the plan was to run “as decent a rail service as we can”.

Only around half of Britain’s rail network will be open on strike days, from around 7.30am until 6.30pm.

At Network Rail, the infrastructure provider, the most critical roles in the day-to-day running of the railway are 5,000 signallers.

Management and other staff are expected to cover about half the network for about 11 hours per day. Many lines will see no trains.

Read the full story here.

Thomas Kingsley18 June 2022 07:00


Watch: Minister pleads with striking rail workers to negotiate

Business minister Paul Scully earlier pleaded with rail workers planning to strike next week to “get round the table” for negotiations.

Paul Scully pleads with rail workers planning to strike

Liam James18 June 2022 04:00


NHS patients urged to plan ahead for appointments during rail strikes

NHS patients in England are being urged to plan ahead for appointments as rail strikes are set to cause travel chaos next week.

Speaking ahead of the strikes, the NHS’s top doctor reminded people that “the NHS remains open” as he called on people to seek care when needed.

Millions of people are seen and treated in the NHS every week.

The strikes could have a particular impact on hospitals in London, many of which have limited parking capacity for those considering driving to appointments as an alternative.

As well as affecting patient appointments, the strikes may also hamper NHS staff commutes.

Liam James18 June 2022 01:00


Labour says ‘any strike is a failure’ ahead of rail action

Labour’s Emily Thornberry, shadow attorney general, said “any strike is a failure” as rail workers prepare for mass industrial action next week.

Ms Thornberry said it was the responsibility of government to negotiate with rail bosses and listen to their concerns.

Liam James17 June 2022 22:21


When do train strikes start?

After members of the RMT rail union voted 8:1 in favour of strike action over jobs, pay and conditions, their union has called nationwide rail strikes for three dates in late June.

Union members at Network Rail and 13 train operators will stage 24-hour walkouts on 21, 23 and 25 June.

What could the effect be? And are other disputes on the horizon?

Simon Calder,The Independent’s Travel Correspondent, brings you the key questions and answers:

When do the train strikes start?

In the forthcoming strikes by Network Rail signallers, only about 20% of lines would be open for trains – many of which might not run anyway

Liam James17 June 2022 20:00


Southeastern workers balloted for more strikes in July

More railway workers are to be balloted for strikes in escalating disputes over pay and jobs, increasing the threat of a summer of travel chaos.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) served notice to ballot hundreds of workers at Southeastern, saying it was demanding a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies, no unagreed changes to terms and conditions, and a pay increase which reflects the rising cost of living.

The ballot opens on 23 June and closes on 11 July, so action could start from 25 July.

TSSA general secretary, Manuel Cortes, said: “Our members at Southeastern are seeking basic fair treatment in the teeth of a crippling cost-of-living crisis.

“Rail workers were hailed as heroes in the pandemic and now they deserve a real terms pay rise which keeps pace with inflation, rather than shouldering the burden of the Tories’ economic meltdown.

“Our demands are simple – pay which reflects the times we live in, a deal which delivers job security, and no race to the bottom on terms and conditions.”

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “The facts are clear: The median pay of rail workers in is £44,000, which is around 70 per cent above the national average. Railway workers have seen above average salary increases over the last decade.

“The industry is offering daily talks to resolve the strikes. We continue to encourage the unions to take them up on that offer and negotiate a fair deal for workers.”

Liam James17 June 2022 18:30


Grant Shapps: ‘Rail strikes designed to inflict damage at worst possible time’

Next week’s rail strikes are “designed to inflict damage at the worst possible time”, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.

The Cabinet minister described the industrial action as an attempt to “derail reforms that are critical”.

The disputes have flared over pay, jobs and conditions.

In a speech at a train depot in north London, Mr Shapps said: “These strikes are not only a bid to derail reforms that are critical to the network’s future, and designed to inflict damage at the worst possible time, they are also an incredible act of self-harm by the union leadership.

“Make no mistake, unlike the past 25 years, when rising passenger demand year after year was taken for granted by the industry, today the railway is in a fight.

“It’s not only competing against other forms of public and private transport. It’s in a battle with Zoom, Teams and remote working.

“In case the unions haven’t noticed, the world has changed.”

Read the full story below:

Thomas Kingsley17 June 2022 17:00


Rail strikes, flight cancellations, and passport problems – Travel questions answered by Simon Calder

The summer getaway is well under way, but for travellers the range of potential problems seems to be multiplying – with wholesale flights cancellations, a threatened rail strike across Britain and continuing issues with post-Brexit red tape.

Simon Calder has tackled 11 pressing travel questions in his latest Ask Me Anything.

Thomas Kingsley17 June 2022 16:18


GCSE and A-Level pupils told to look for alternate travels means during strike

Families of pupils sitting GCSE and A-level exams next week have been advised to make alternative arrangements for getting to school during the rail strikes.

On 21 June, pupils sitting GCSE history or dance with exam board AQA may be impacted by the strikes, while on Thursday those sitting GCSE physics papers could be affected.

A-level pupils studying German, religious studies or maths with this board could be impacted by strike action on Tuesday, 21 while pupils sitting papers in A-level chemistry could experience disruptions to their journey to school on Thursday, 23 June.

In total, 17 GCSE and 22 A-level papers could be impacted by the strike action.

Headteachers have said families should look into alternative arrangements for getting their children to school to sit papers on time.

Julie McCulloch, policy director at the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “We are concerned about the potential impact on exam students of the industrial action affecting train services planned in June.

“The majority of students live local to schools and colleges and tend to take buses rather than trains so we are hopeful that the impact will be minimal,” she added.

“However, it is important that families are conscious of the industrial action and make alternative arrangements where students are reliant on train services.

“We would urge anybody who is concerned about their ability to attend an exam to talk to their school or college at the earliest opportunity to discuss the options that are available.”

Thomas Kingsley17 June 2022 15:37


East Midlands train service to be disrupted significantly next week

Strike action is likely to disrupt rail services in the East Midlands significantly next week, operators have said.

Local and mainline services in the East Midlands will be affected.

East Midlands Railway (EMR) said the number of services would be significantly reduced. It said trains would run between 7.30am and 6.30pm only, with one per hour between Nottingham and London.

It said its regional services also would be limited to one train per hour between Derby and Matlock, Derby and Nottingham, Leicester and Nottingham, and Nottingham and Sheffield.

Will Rogers, managing director for EMR said: “We are extremely disappointed the RMT have decided to strike.

“There will be changes to our normal timetable and some parts of our network will have no train services on strike days and other lines will have a reduced level of service.”

Thomas Kingsley17 June 2022 14:58

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