More Christmas rail strikes announced from December 24th

epa10349540 Commuters at a railway station in London, Britain, December 05, 2022. The RMT (Rail, Maritime and Transport) union has rejected an offer from train operators aimed at preventing strikes over Christmas, the RMT announced on December 5 . EPA/ANDY RAIN

Next week’s strikes will also continue, the union announced (Image: EPA)

People heading home for Christmas face more chaos as new train strikes are announced.

RMT members are hosting an additional walk-out on Network Rail from 6pm on Christmas Eve until 6am on December 27th.

Two 48-hour strikes next week – on December 13, 14, 16 and 17 – will definitely take place, the union also confirmed today.

Strikes are planned at 14 rail companies despite talks with the Rail Delivery Group on Tuesday.

It comes amid a longstanding dispute over wages, jobs and working conditions.

The latest offer is presented to union members with a recommendation to reject it.

The RMT said there had been no improved offer from the railway companies and claimed they were still awaiting a government mandate.

General Secretary Mick Lynch said it was unfortunate that the union was “forced to take this action due to continued employer intransigence”.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: A traveler at Victoria Station on December 5, 2022 in London, England. Workers represented by the Rail, Shipping and Transport Union rejected an initial offer from a group of rail companies on Monday. If the strikes continue, workers will strike eight separate days in December and January, affecting 14 railway companies and Network Rail. The first days are December 13th and 14th. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

Blame it on “continued intransigence on the part of employers” (Image: Getty Images Europe)

He added: “We remain available for discussions to resolve these issues, but we will not bow to employer and government pressure to the detriment of our members.”

Meanwhile, the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) has announced that strikes planned for December at Network Rail have been called off after “the best deal we could negotiate through negotiations” was called off.

Members were to strike on December 17th and take other forms of industrial action from December 13th.

They will vote in the coming weeks on whether to accept the offer, which “provides job security and peace of mind for Network Rail employees through 2025”.

The TSSA said NR had offered a consolidated minimum wage increase of £1,750 or a 5% increase (whichever is higher) on annual base rates from January 2022 and £250 for employees earning £24,000 a year or less. Wages will increase by 4% from January 2023.

Network Rail is also not offering layoffs for general grades and controllers until January 31, 2025.

Employees and their families will also receive a 75% discount on holiday travel and no irreconcilable changes to employment conditions will be made, the union said.

With many other unions trying to protect workers from the cost-of-living crisis, the next threat is industrial action by nurses, firefighters and National Highway workers.

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Justin Scacco

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