Rail strikes: RMT union announces wave of strike action before Christmas and in New Year

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rail union has announced a fresh wave of 48 hour strikes set to cause travel misery in the run up to Christmas and in the New Year.

Over 40,000 RMT members across Network Rail and 14 Train Operating Companies will take strike action on on 13, 14, 16 and 17 December and on January 3,4,6 and 7.

There will also be an overtime ban across the railways from 18 December until 2 January, meaning RMT be taking industrial action for four weeks.

The action is set to cause chaos on the country’s rail services over the festive period.

The industrial action was called after talks with the Rail Delivery Group, which represents the Train Operating Companies, broke down.

The RMT said operators have refused to make their “promised written proposals” in the ongoing dispute over jobs, terms and conditions and pay.

Network Rail also declined to make any proposals promised at the conclusion of intensive talks last week, the union added.

RMT’s National Executive Committee met on Tuesday morning and agreed to the series of strikes.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “This latest round of strikes will show how important our members are to the running of this country and will send a clear message that we want a good deal on job security, pay and conditions for our people.

“We have been reasonable, but it is impossible to find a negotiated settlement when the dead hand of Government is presiding over these talks.

“The employers are in disarray and saying different things to different people, sometimes at the same time.

“This whole process has become a farce that only the new secretary of state can resolve. When I meet him later this week, I will deliver that message.

“In the meantime, 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.

“We call upon all trades unionists in Britain to take a stand and fight for better pay and conditions in their respective industries.

“And we will seek to co-ordinate strike action and demonstrations where we can.

“Working people across our class need a pay rise and we are determined to win that for our members in RMT.”

It comes as thousands of commuters face disruption as Abellio bus drivers in south and west London begin 10 days of industrial action over pay.

Almost 1,000 Unite union members at bus garages including Battersea, Hayes, Twickenham and Walworth walked out on Tuesday.

It is impacting around 60 bus routes across the capital, including to and from Heathrow terminals 4 and 5.

Many routes have a reduced or no service.

Further strikes are due to take place on November 25 and 26, as well as on December 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17.

Unite says Abellio failed to “enter into meaningful pay talks”.

The bus company said it had offered to introduce a new pay deal this month.

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