A union leader has warned that rain strikes could stretch into the fall as the country prepares this week for its biggest industrial strike in a generation.
Mick Lynch, general secretary of the Federation of Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT), said the unions were not looking for a compromise after negotiations with rail bosses failed to make progress over the weekend.
A series of strikes at Network Rail and 13 train operators will take place next Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday amid ongoing disputes over wages and pensions. RMT and Unite workers will also march on the London Underground on Tuesday.
Lynch told the Eye that audiences may have to come to terms with the turmoil continuing beyond the summer, saying “there doesn’t seem to be much evidence at this point that things will be any different.”
“The TSA [union], which represents some 6,000 Network Rail employees who are eligible to vote, and Aslef, who organizes our train drivers, received on July 11, just a few weeks later, about six or seven ballots. If there is no agreement, all I can see is that this is escalating.”
A union source told The Telegraph that RMT has a “six-month strike mandate”, raising fears the strike could last until Christmas.
The newspaper said the union could call a strike two weeks before the end of November, six months after the poll results were published in late May.
A Network Rail source told the newspaper that this week’s labor strike was “unlikely” as a one-off event as rail bosses feared it could turn into a “fight at attrition”.
Earlier on Sunday, Lynch claimed “people can’t take it anymore” while defending the strikes during an interview with Sky News.
Speaking to Sophie Ridge, Lynch said: “I think there will be a lot of unions voting across the country because people can’t accept it anymore.
“We have people who have full-time jobs who have to use government benefits and use food banks. This is a national disgrace.”
Unions representing teachers and NHS workers have already threatened to take action if pay rises don’t rise in line with inflation.
The RMT strike will take place on June 21, 23 and 25.
Amid claims that RMT is “seeking” industry action from the Secretary of Transportation, Lynch added: “We don’t want to disrupt people’s lives. We want a solution to this dispute, but we face a crisis for us, the members.” “.
“If we don’t play with our hands, thousands of my members will lose their jobs, train travel will be restricted, and the security system that has been in place for so long will be lowered.
“We have to fight against that.
“Because we haven’t had a pay raise, we’re facing thousands of job cuts, and they want working conditions removed in the form of layoffs and reinstatements on the train.” It really is as difficult as P&O.
“We are ready to negotiate.”
Shapps said RMT misbehaved during the negotiations but rejected the government’s ability to attend the talks, in what he described as a “trick” by the union.
He said: “They are firing at this attack which I fear will affect millions of Britons.
“It’s catastrophic. It’s not the way to do business on the railroad. There’s no merit in that. I know Mick Lynch says it’s ‘nostalgic for union power,’ but that’s not the way to go.”