Rail is on strike Thursday as RMT accuses Grant Shapps of wrecking talks

Train services have been massively disrupted by large-scale strikes this week (Image: PA)

Transport union RMT has confirmed that tomorrow’s rail strike will go ahead as planned.

She accused Transport Secretary Grant Shapps of “junking” negotiations to end the industrial action.

More than 40,000 railway signallers, maintenance and train crews working for Network Rail and 13 train operators are on strike this week.

The RMT (Railway, Shipping and Transport Union) is asking for a 7% pay rise and has turned down an offer of 2%, with a further 1% tied to job cuts.

With inflation currently heading towards 11%, the union says its request will help workers through the cost of living crisis.

Workers are also protesting alleged plans to cut safety-critical jobs while increasing working hours as part of Network Rail’s modernization plan.

The strikes are also over pensions and benefits, which union members say are under threat.

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Empty platforms are seen at King's Cross St Pancras station in London as train services are disrupted after the nationwide strike by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union joined with London Underground workers in a bitter dispute over pay, jobs and continued becomes conditions. Picture date: Wednesday June 22, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story INDUSTRY Rail. Photo credit should read: James Manning/PA Wire

Empty platforms at King’s Cross St Pancras as labor disputes paralyze large parts of the rail network (Image: PA)

Talks took place today between RMT, Network Rail and rail operators to break the deadlock.

However, after no breakthrough was achieved, union general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Grant Shapps wrecked those negotiations by not allowing Network Rail to withdraw their letter threatening 2,900 of our members with sacking.

“Until the government unleashes Network Rail and the railway companies, it will not be possible to agree a negotiated solution.

“We will continue our industrial campaign until we get a negotiated solution that offers job security and a pay rise for our members to deal with the escalating cost of living crisis.”

This is breaking news – more to come.

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Justin Scacco

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