Four Weeks of Disruption on Trains Around Christmas and New Year


RMT announces dates for new round of industrial action

An RMT picket line in London
An RMT picket line in London. Picture: RMT

The RMT Union has confirmed the dates of its next round of planned strikes.

Having received the support of its members after reballoting, 40,000 rail staff across Network Rail and 14 train operating companies as set to take part in a series of 48-hour strikes.

The strike days are on 13, 14, 16 and 17 December and on 3,4,6 and 7 January which effectively means 5 consecutive days of disruption as services won’t return to a full schedule on the days in between the 48 hour strikes.

In addition, there is an overtime ban across the railways from 18 December until 2 January which is likely to lead to further disruption around Christmas and New Year.

Staff at companies operating in London such as South Western Railway and Great Western Railway will be participating and, during previous strikes, disruption has impacted parts of the tube network including the Wimbledon and Richmond branches of the District Line due to the participation of signalling staff working for Network Rail.

The RMT blames government interference in negotiations for the failure to reach a settlement and claims that Network Rail have failed to make an improved offer on jobs, pay and conditions during the last two weeks of talks. In addition, the union says that the Rail Delivery Group, representing the train operating companies, cancelled negotiations that were due to take place this week.

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.”

Network Rail says it has offered to extend the period of no compulsory job losses until early 2025.

Tim Shoveller, Network Rail's chief negotiator, said, "What's clear for all of us is that striking is not changing the railway's precarious financial position, but actually only making it worse. The railway has not recovered from the pandemic and is currently losing millions a day, which makes reaching a deal both tough and essential."

The Prime Minister's spokesman criticised the unions involved in the strikes, saying, "They are damaging the economy, stopping hard-working people from getting to work, to reaching hospital appointments, to going to school.

"I think everyone is well aware of the serious financial challenges the rail industry faces following the pandemic and the need for reform."

A number of other strikes are taking place across London's transport network before the RMT action begins.

Station staff on the tube network are taking action on Friday 25 November. Tube trains will generally run as normal.

While the vast majority of stations and trains will run as planned, the affected stations may open later and close earlier or at short notice.

The following stations are likely to be affected:
• Euston
• Green Park
• Heathrow Terminals 2 and 3
• Heathrow Terminal 4
• Heathrow Terminal 5
• Hatton Cross
• Hounslow West
• King's Cross St. Pancras
• Victoria

Due to these station strikes, additional stations between Northfields and Heathrow may be affected at short notice. Services between Northfields and Heathrow may be disrupted before 7am and after 11pm. Anyone travelling to Heathrow should use the Elizabeth line if possible.

Affected stations may open later than normal on Saturday 26 November.

Strikes will recommence on Saturday 26 November with 9,500 drivers represented by ASLEF taking action. This will hit 12 train operating companies including and Great Western but drivers at London Overground and South Western Railway are not participating. Tube services are expected to run as normal.

ASLEF, which wants wages to keep pace with the rising cost of living, said talks with rail firms broke down after no pay offer was made. Mick Whelan, the general secretary of the union said that with inflation - the rate at which prices rise - at 10.1%, drivers were getting a pay cut in real terms. In 2021, the median salary for train and tram drivers was £59,189 per year.

There are strikes planned on Abellio bus services. Routes affected are mostly in west and south London.

If the strikes go ahead, they will take place on these dates:

Friday 25 & Saturday 26 November
Thursday 1, Friday 2 and Saturday 3 December
Friday 9 and Saturday10 December
Friday 16 and Saturday 17 December

On the days after strikes, TfL says a good service will be running by approximately 6am

These routes will be affected:

Day routes
3, 27, 45, 63, 68, 109, 130, 156, 195, 196, 201, 207, 267, 270, 278, 315, 322, 350, 367, 381, 407, 415, 427, 433, 464, 482, 490, 969, C10, E5, E7, E10, E11, H20, H25, H28, H26, P5, P13, R68, R70, S4, U5, U7, U9

24-hour routes
24, 111, 159, 285, 344, 345

Night routes
N3, N27, N63, N68, N109, N207, N381

Passengers are advised to check before travelling which services are running.

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November 24, 2022