Christmas travel fears as RMT refuses to rule out more train strikes over festive period


    The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) has today refused to rule out strike action this Christmas. The news is likely to prompt fears of disruption over the busy festive period.

    When approached by over potential industrial action over Christmas, an RMT spokesman said: “We are working towards a negotiated settlement with Network Rail and the train operators on pay, job security and working conditions.”

    After being pushed specifically on whether Christmas strikes can be ruled out, the union chose not to comment any further.

    The RMT last year organised strike action from one minute past midnight until 11.59pm on both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve over what General Secretary Mick Lynch described as “a systematic attempt by Cross Country to undermine the role of the Senior Conductors and Train Managers by drafting in other staff to do their jobs”.

    He added in December 2021: “Our members have made it clear that they will not put up with this attack and that is why they are taking action over Christmas and New Year.”

    A top RMT official last month hinted that disruption could also be experiences over this year’s festive period.

    Assistant Secretary Eddie Dempsey last month said in a speech: “We’re in it until we win it. It’ll affect Christmas.

    “The way things are, we’re going to have to get creative.

    “I won’t let the cat out of the bag, but we will alter our industrial position if we don’t see some movement in the next short period.”

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    The union described a “crass attempt to cut the union out of national negotiations” in which “Network Rail have written directly to staff undermining delicate talks and have tried to rehash a previous deal that RMT has categorically rejected”.

    Mr Lynch said: “Our members are livid with these duplicitous tactics, and they will now respond in kind with sustained strike action.”

    Strikes will be held on November 5, 7 and 9.

    RMT also has a separate dispute on TfL and London Overground with strike action planned for November 10.

    The planned action already coincides with the opening of Birmingham’s popular Christmas market.


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