Lisa Nandy attacks ‘militant’ Government as crippling rail strikes to go ahead

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Lisa Nandy attacks ‘militant’ Government as crippling rail strikes to go ahead
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Lisa Nandy has attacked the Government for not doing enough to stop the crippling rail strikes which will go ahead next week.

With strikes planned on June 21, 23, and 25, the Shadow Levelling Up Secretary said ministers hadn’t “laid a finger” to resolve issues with the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union (RMT).

“Only a few years ago Mr Shapps said these workers were true heroes and Government hasn’t laid a finger to resolve issues.

“The biggest problem this country has, isn’t militant workers, it’s a militant Government,” Ms Nandy told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge.

“The reason there isn’t a strike in Wales, while there is one in England, is because in Wales you have a Labour Government and in England you have a Tory one.

“It’s not about workers going on strike, it’s that we have a Government on strike and not doing its job.”

Speaking on the same proramme, the Transport Secretary said the planned walkout was a “huge mistake” by the union as he defended the Government.

He then accused the RMT of “gunning for a strike” as Britons across the country will face severe disruption due to the planned walkouts.

He said: “It is a huge mistake. The unions have been gunning for this strike throughout. This strike is completely unnecessary," he told Sky News's Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme.

"It is going to inconvenience millions of people - students doing their GCSEs and A-levels, people trying to get to hospitals to try get operations that have been postponed, perhaps, during coronavirus.

"It is disastrous. It is no way to behave on the railway.”

Around 10,000 London Underground workers will walk out of stations on June 21 for 24 hours as part of an ongoing dispute over job losses and pensions.

That same day, more than 50,000 workers from the RMT at Network rail and 13 train operating companies, will stage a walkout on Britain’s railways in the biggest strike on the network since 1989.

Further strikes on the railways will take place June 23 and 25.

Amid surging inflation costs, NHS workers and teachers have warned they may also take strike action if pay is not increased.

Unison and the National Education Union (NEU) said members must receive a pay rise in line with inflation or action may be taken as early as this autumn in schools.

Kevin Courtney told the Observer: “If there is no significant improvement on 3 per cent – which will leave an 8 per cent gap with inflation this year alone – we cannot avoid a ballot. The mood among teachers has changed. Last year the issue was mainly workload. This year it is workload and pay.”

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