Saturday rail strikes

TSSA members on picket line at York ROC holding placards with Rachael Maskell MP

TSSA members at six train companies take strike action tomorrow, Saturday 17 December, in the ongoing dispute over pay, job security and terms and conditions. The union has accused the government of “harming the nation” in its role in blocking talks to resolve the rail dispute.

Rail workers at Avanti West Coast, c2c, East Midlands Railway, Southeastern, South Western Railway, and TransPennine Express will walk out for the whole day, impacting rail services on routes across the country. Additionally, industrial action short of strike is taking place at CrossCountry, Greater Anglia, Great Western Railway, GTR, LNER, Northern, and West Midlands Trains. In total, TSSA members across 13 train companies are taking some form of industrial action.

The strike action is the first since an offer tabled by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG – the umbrella group acting on behalf of train operators) was rejected on Sunday 4 December. The offer followed four weeks of intensive talks during which TSSA suspended industrial action. No improved offer or negotiations have taken place since the initial offer – which is widely believed to have been crafted by government – was rejected.

Frank Ward, TSSA Interim General Secretary, said: “Rail workers across the country deserve a pay rise and job security, especially so as the Tory cost-of-living crisis cripples household finances.

“This strike action was entirely avoidable. It beggars belief that the government has forced this industrial action on rail workers and the wider economy when they have had every opportunity and the ability to resolve the dispute. This Conservative Government is actively harming the nation with its reckless anti-worker agenda.

“As we have shown this week in Network Rail, our union can reach agreement with employers where there are genuine negotiations. It’s crystal clear that Rishi Sunak’s government is responsible for blocking negotiations with train companies and ruining Christmas for rail workers and passengers alike.”

Further strike action is set to take place in CrossCountry 26-27 December, and in Great Western Railway and West Midlands Trains 28-29 December.

See full details of industrial action by company.

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