Thousands of railway workers carry out three-day strike actions

epa09896861 Commuters walk on the platform at Waterloo Station in London, Britain April 19, 2022. The British government is trying to encourage people to travel by train by making the

RMT has announced three-day nationwide strikes on June 21, 23 and 25 (Image: EPA)

Thousands of rail workers will go on a three-day nationwide strike later this month over wage and job disputes, the RMT union has announced.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) at Network Rail and 13 train operators will retire on June 21, 23 and 25.

The RMT has also announced another 24-hour strike on the London Underground in a separate series on jobs and pensions.

Subway workers will strike on June 21, coinciding with the first rail strike threatening widespread travel chaos.

The action comes after that The London Underground network came to a standstill on Monday as 4,000 RMT members staged a strike.

The union claims the action later this month will be the biggest strike on the railroads since 1989.

Union members voted overwhelmingly last month to take action in growing disputes over wage and job losses.

epa09896856 Commuters walk around Waterloo Station in London, Britain, April 19, 2022. The British government is trying to encourage people to travel by train by making the

Subway workers to strike June 21 to coincide with first rail strike (Image: EPA)

Mick Lynch, RMT General Secretary, said: “Railway workers have been treated appallingly and despite our best efforts in the negotiations, the rail industry, with support from the Government, has not taken their concerns seriously.

“We have a cost of living crisis and it is unacceptable that railway workers either lose their jobs or face another year of a pay freeze when inflation is at 11.1% and rising.

“Our union will now launch an ongoing campaign of industrial action that will shut down the rail system.

“Rail companies are making profits of at least £500m a year while fat cat rail bosses have been paid millions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This injustice fuels the anger of our members and their determination to reach a fair settlement.

“RMT is open to meaningful negotiations with rail bosses and ministers, but they must come up with new proposals to prevent months of disruption on our railways.”

Strike actions on Monday led to the closure of train stations (Image: w8media)

The union said more than 50,000 rail workers will leave on June 21, adding that the action will affect the national rail network for the entire week.

Network Rail Chief Executive Andrew Haines said the organization is continuing to meet with unions to discuss their pay issues and “do everything we can to avoid strikes”.

“We know the cost of living has gone up and we want to give our people a raise, but the RMT needs to recognize that we are a public body and any raise must be affordable for taxpayers,” he said.

“Travel habits have changed forever, and railroads must change too.

“We can’t expect to take more than our fair share of public funds and so we need to modernize our industry to put it on a solid financial footing for the future.

“If there is no modernization, this will only lead to a decline in the industry and further job losses in the long term.”

Mr Haines said Network Rail would use the two weeks before the planned first strike to “talk further” with its unions.

“Through compromise and common sense on both sides, we hope to find a solution and avoid the damage that strikes would do to everyone involved,” he added.

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Justin Scacco

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