‘Solid support’ for strike by rail workers, union claims

A 48-hour strike by rail workers has been “solidly supported”, causing travel chaos across the country, a union said on Wednesday.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) walked out on Tuesday in a long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.

Picket lines were mounted outside railway stations across the country, with strikers saying they received strong support from members of the public.

More strikes are planned in the coming weeks, threatening huge disruption to trains in the busy run up to Christmas.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch is due to hold another meeting on Thursday with employers and the Government although there is little sign of a breakthrough in the bitter row.

The union congratulated its 40,000 members for taking 48 hours of strike action which shut down large parts of the railway across the country.

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Mr Lynch said: “I congratulate RMT members who have shown enormous dignity and rock-solid fortitude throughout this 48-hour strike.

“They have shown how important their work is to the functioning of the economy and wider society.

“All they want is a negotiated settlement on job security, a decent pay rise and good working conditions.

“And they are determined to continue their industrial campaign until an agreed resolution is achieved.

“Multimillion pound train companies are once again indemnified for any losses suffered through strike action.

“If all 16 days of action go ahead, over £300 million will have been spent by the taxpayer to ensure they suffer no financial detriment.

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“The cost-of-living crisis is accelerating out of control and the trade union movement is stepping up to the plate across multiple industries to protect workers.

“We send our heartfelt solidarity to the nurses and their union the RCN on their historic strike tomorrow, along with our heroic postal workers who are striking on issues very similar to our own.

“Unity in our movement is now more vital than ever with the ramping up of attacks from the Government.

“The rich have never been richer, and millions are struggling to feed themselves or heat their homes this winter.

“There needs to be a rebalancing of society where workers that create the wealth are rewarded properly for their endeavours and that will help create a happier and more prosperous country.”