£1m poppy fundraiser for Royal British Legion cancelled due to rail strike


    A £1million fundraiser for London Poppy Day has been cancelled due to the rail strikes. The Royal British Legion (RBL) said the event “will not go ahead as planned” on November 3 due to the action by the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union.

    The RBL says it is now urgently considering alternative arrangements to lessen the impact from the loss of funds on its work with members of the Armed Forces community.

    Up to 2,000 personnel, veterans and volunteers were lined up to help with collections at 70 locations across London’s tube and train stations, office blocks and out on the streets from 7am to 7pm.

    The RBL says volunteers help to raise crucial funds and this year’s annual event would also have included performances from 10 military bands at various locations.

    In a statement the RBL said: “Raising up to £1 million annually, the event sees 2,000 military personnel and veterans collecting for the RBL’s Poppy Appeal across transport hubs in London.”

    Railway workers at 14 train operating companies are to stage strikes next month in the long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.

    RMT members are set to walk out on November 3 and 5.

    The action is to coincide with strikes on the same days by RMT members on Network Rail, London Underground and London Overground.

    The strikes will cause widespread disruption to services across the country after a summer of strikes in the deadlocked row over pay, jobs and conditions.

    The 14 train operating companies involved in the fresh strikes are: Chiltern Railways, Cross Country Trains, Greater Anglia, LNER, East Midlands Railway, c2c, Great Western Railway, Northern Trains, South Eastern, South Western Railway, Transpennine Express, Avanti West Coast, West Midlands Trains and GTR (including Gatwick Express).

    In a letter sent to RBL seen by Express.co.uk, the RMT said it regretted and apologised for the disruption caused by strike action, adding members are taking the action as an absolute last resort.

    The union also said while members strike, they lose pay while the rail companies do not see revenue losses because they are indemnified by the Government and so have no incentive to settle the dispute.

    Train companies are also having their negotiating mandate set and monitored by the Government which is why the dispute is still ongoing, according to the RMT.

    The letter ends with the RMT urging RBL Director General Charles Byrne to contact the Government as the only body capable of resolving the dispute. 

    It adds: “As it is also the Government [which] is using taxpayers’ money to prolong the dispute I would also suggest you approach the Government to reimburse the Royal British Legion for any losses incurred”.


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