Travel chaos continues as railway workers go ahead with 48-hour strike
The RMT went ahead with a walkout from Friday on Network Rail and 14 train operators, which crippled services across the country
Railway workers will continue with a 48-hour strike on Saturday, causing more travel misery for passengers as a bitter dispute over pay, jobs and conditions remains deadlocked.
Talks between the leader of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT), train company employers and Rail Minister Huw Merriman on Thursday failed to make a breakthrough.
The union went ahead with a walkout from Friday on Network Rail and 14 train operators, which crippled services across the country.
Trains will start later than usual on Saturday and will finish earlier, while some parts of the country have no services.
Disruption will continue for the rest of the month because of an overtime ban by RMT members at 14 train operators.
A 48-hour strike by bus drivers in London continues on Saturday, adding to the travel chaos.
Members of Unite employed by Abellio are taking action over pay.
Transport for Wales announced it has agreed a pay deal with rail unions worth 4.5% for nine months from last July.
The not-for-profit organisation, which is wholly owned by the Welsh Government, said it understands its responsibility to deliver for all in Wales, especially during the cost of living crisis.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch will join a picket line in London after maintaining that the union continues to receive strong support from the public.
He said: “It’s better we are talking than not, so the rail minister convened a meeting on Thursday with the RMT representatives along Network Rail and the train operators.
“We exchanged some ideas and some possibilities, there was no negotiations at that, nothing arising tangible out of that.
“But what he did having heard that as the facilitator, as they describe themselves and the people that ultimately own the purse strings, is he invited us and requested that we get together and hold further talks going forward and we’ll do that in the next period if the companies want to get engaged in it.”
Meanwhile, members of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) at six train companies will strike on Saturday in its ongoing dispute over pay, job security and terms and conditions.
The union has accused the Government of “harming the nation” by “blocking“ talks to resolve the dispute.
TSSA members at Avanti West Coast, c2c, East Midlands Railway, Southeastern, South Western Railway, and TransPennine Express will walk out for the day, hitting rail services on routes across the country.
Additionally, industrial action short of strike is taking place at CrossCountry, Greater Anglia, Great Western Railway, GTR, LNER, Northern, and West Midlands Trains.
The strike action is the first since an offer tabled by the Rail Delivery Group was rejected on December 4.
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