August train strikes ‘a kick in the teeth’ for rail commuters

·1-min read
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch says the public are behind walkouts (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch says the public are behind walkouts (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)

A string of planned summer train strikes are a “kick in the teeth” for commuters, the Government said on Friday.

More than 40,000 RMT members at 14 train companies are set to walk out for two days in August.

The announcement was made just hours after train driver union Aslef voted for action on July 30, and follows a 24-hour strike by RMT staff on July 27.

The move is expected to grind services around Britain and the capital to a halt again after a raft of industrial action in June.

Talks between Network Rail and unions broke down on Thursday in the dispute over pay, job cuts and working conditions.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “Recent talks have merely been for show while the RMT have been planning how best to create further misery for passengers across the UK.

“These strikes will be a kick in the teeth for millions of people who stumped up £600 per household to keep the railway running throughout the pandemic.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps added that he was “incredibly disappointed” by further “destructive strike action”, which comes at the height of the summer holidays when tourists will be attempting to get to and around London and the Commonwealth Games are taking place in Birmingham.

But RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said the public was “right behind” the latest wave of walkouts.

“Many of the public are in the same position as our members,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “They have not had a pay rise, they feel they are being exploited by the employers.”

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