Rail strike: RMT threatens strikes until Christmas


The RMT has vowed to keep up the pressure as the biggest rail strike in modern history looms (Image: PA/EPA)

Strikes on Britain’s rail network could last until Christmas if talks with the government don’t yield a breakthrough.

The RMT has vowed to proceed with disruptive industrial action ahead of the railroads’ biggest strike in years.

Entire lines will be shut down tomorrow when Network Rail workers are joined by workers from 13 different striking operators.

Emergency timetables are in effect across the country from today and will last through Sunday, with the main disruption occurring on June 21, 23 and 25.

Talks between the union, the rail companies and the government continue and there is still a slim chance an agreement could be reached to stop the action.

But with 24 hours to go, the union’s general secretary has made it clear that the dispute over wages and working conditions will not end this week.

Mick Lynch told the Financial Times: “Until a deal is reached there will be a strike campaign and other unions will join us. . . I expect more strikes.

The train strike map shows which lines will be affected next week

Several lines in England, most of Wales and everything north of Edinburgh and Scotland will be completely closed (Image: Network Rail/

The train strike map shows which lines will be affected next week

Several lines running to and from London remain open but have had drastically reduced timetables (Image: Network Rail/

“We will renew the mandates until we have found a solution to the problems in the dispute.”

An RMT source told The Telegraph that planning for the next round of strikes could start as early as next week, adding: “We have a mandate for six months of strike action.

“The National Executive Committee will decide what to do next. They only meet after this week and then have to give the employers two weeks’ notice.’

MORE : Rail strike map: Which rail lines are affected by the RMT action?

More strikes across the rail network will add to disruptions, including on the London Underground, where RMT and Unite members are set to go on strike tomorrow.

Transport Salaried Staffs Association members in four companies – Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, East Midlands and West Midlands Trains – will be elected to strike this month.

Aslef members will also strike at Hull Trains, Greater Anglia and Croydon Tramlink later in June, while the union is also locked in a long-running pay dispute with the Scottish Government over pay north of the border.

And as other unions weigh their members’ choices, the wave of industrial action may not be limited to transport.

epa10014426 Commuters at Waterloo railway station in London, Britain, June 15, 2022. Britain will face its biggest rail strike in over three decades on 21, 23 and 25 June 2022, when more than half of the country's rail network ceases operations will cease, leading to great chaos in the summer season. The strikes over possible job cuts will disrupt travel to key events across the UK, such as the Elton John concert in London, the British Athletics Championships in Manchester and the Glastonbury Festival. EPA/Andy Rain

Mass disruption is expected throughout the week due to the domino effect of three days of strikes (Image: EPA).

The National Education Union has warned its 450,000 members that they could stage a strike over the 3 percent pay deal being offered to teachers.

NHS workers will receive their pay offer this week, an announcement that could prompt healthcare unions to take action if it comes in below inflation, as expected.

Civil servants, lawyers, BT engineers, postal workers and traffic cops are also on the strike list this summer.

The Bank of England expects inflation to hover around 11% by the end of the year and unions across all sectors are unlikely to readily accept wage offers below that to help members cope with the rising cost of living.

But ministers and some leading economists are calling for wage moderation, warning that big wage deals will only fuel inflation and increase pressure on low earners.

Union leader Sir Keir Starmer has accused the Tories of “wanting the country to stand still so they can feed off the divide” after ministers admitted they last met with union officials on May 13 .

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Justin Scacco

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