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Rail strike: Will there be another, when will it be and which other industries are planning strikes this summer?



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The union behind June's national rail strike says it can't rule rule out more industrial action this summer.

A week on from last Saturday's third 24-hour walkout, the RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) insists support for its campaign is as strong as ever and it will propose more disruption if agreement cannot be reached.

The warning comes as 24-hour strike action by train drivers is set to stop all services on operator Greater Anglia's West Anglia line between London Liverpool Street and Cambridge on Saturday (July 2). GA is urging passengers to travel only if necessary as over 90% of its network – including trains for Audley End, Newport, Elsenham, Stansted Mountfitchet, Bishop's Stortford and Sawbridgeworth – will not run as a result of the action by ASLEF (Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen).

Greater Anglia is urging passengers to travel only if necessary on Saturday (July 2) as a result of strike action by train drivers
Greater Anglia is urging passengers to travel only if necessary on Saturday (July 2) as a result of strike action by train drivers

More than 30,000 staff working for Network Rail and 13 train operating companies – including Greater Anglia, which also runs the Stansted Express to the airport – walked out on three days in late June in a show of unity. Their decision led to disruption across the network as they campaigned for pay rises, to reflect the increasing cost of living, and a guarantee of no redundancies.

Despite further talks, no agreement with rail bosses has been reached so far and RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said on Thursday (June 30) that he won't rule out further action if both parties can't agree on a solution and will call further strikes straight away if Network Rail begins consulting on redundancies.

He said: "The claims made by the rail industry that support for our strike is waning are a fallacy. The people who turned up for work were managers and contractors who were not balloted, in a vain attempt to break the strike.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

"Despite attempts to undermine our action, the rail network barely ran any services and many of those were delayed on a tiny timetable.

"Without the work of RMT members, the railway network cannot run in this country. And we will take further effective strike action if a negotiated settlement on pay and job security cannot be reached."

When might there be another rail strike?

Trade unions are required by law to give two weeks' notice before any planned strike, so for those trying to calculate if any industrial action will upset summer plans, there should always be 14 days between confirming a date and the strike itself going ahead.

But the RMT is not the only union to be balloting railway workers about industrial action. The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) is balloting hundreds of its members, employed by train operator Southeastern, in a dispute over pay, conditions and job security.

With only a fifth of services running the strikes forced many to stay at home
With only a fifth of services running the strikes forced many to stay at home

The ballot, which opened on June 23 and will close on July 11, is one of a number the TSSA is conducting across the UK with its members working at train operating companies nationwide.

TSSA is demanding a guarantee from Kent's rail operator, which is now owned by the Department for Transport, of no compulsory redundancies for 2022, no unagreed changes to terms and conditions and a pay increase which it says will 'reflect the rising cost of living'.

Should the ballot return a majority in favour of strike action, the first available date for a strike is listed as July 25 at the start of the school holidays.

Royal Mail staff will soon vote on strike action too
Royal Mail staff will soon vote on strike action too

Who else is going on strike this summer?

  • On Thursday, 30,000 BT workers voted to go on strike in a row over pay, with the Communication Workers Union's general secretary Dave Ward saying the company now faced its first national strike since the 1980s.
  • More than 115,000 Royal Mail workers will begin voting next week on whether they too will go on strike; ballot papers are expected to return a result by July 19.
  • Post Office staff at 114 Crown Post Offices, the larger branches found in some high streets, will walk out on July 11 in a row over pay.
  • Barristers have vowed to continue their strike action and will walk out again next week, halting court hearings across the country.
  • British Airways workers at Heathrow have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action which could take place during the summer holidays.
  • The Fire Brigades Union has recommended that its members reject a 2% pay offer, prompting speculation that firefighters could join in with industrial action this year.
  • Teaching union the NEU says it will look to ballot its members in October if it doesn't receive an adequate pay offer from the Government.


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