workers have threatened to strike again in a dispute over jobs, pay, techtogadgets pensions and conditions — as millions of rail passengers suffered a fourth day in a row of disruption today due to the national rail walkout.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union have taken strike action on the Tube in recent weeks, including a 24-hour walkout on Tuesday.This was on top of the separate RMT strike against and 13 train operators across the UK that took place on Tuesday and yesterday with another walkout due tomorrow.
By law, the RMT had to reballot its members on the Underground, with the union saying there was a ‘decisive’ result in favour.More than 90 per cent of those who voted backed industrial action on a 53.1 per cent turnout.
No new strike dates have been set, but they will be decided by the union’s executive in due course — increasing the threat of disruption to services over the summer amid growing disputes across the industry.
Also today, the East Coast Main Line between Edinburgh and North Berwick was closed for a time after a lorry collided with a wall and crashed on to the tracks at Wallyford in East Lothian, but it later reopened.
It comes as another union, the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA), served notice to ballot its members at Greater Anglia for strike action and action short of strike over pay, conditions and job security.
The TSSA’s warning was issued as a fresh alert was given to train passengers amid fears that many are reluctant to abandon leisure trips planned for tomorrow despite another the third day of rail strikes taking place.
Only a fifth of services will run and half of lines will be closed as 40,000 members of the RMT union walk out — and operators are telling passengers to ‘only travel by train if necessary’ and check their journey in advance.
Many commuters were able to avoid the disruption caused by strikes on Tuesday and yesterday by working from home.But people with long-standing plans to travel by train tomorrow — such as for a day trip or holiday, a visit to friends or relatives, or to attend an event — may be keen to press ahead with their trip despite the industrial action.
A rail industry source said that while stations were ‘relatively quiet’ during the first two strike days, there is ‘a nervousness’ about what will happen tomorrow when there will be no services to or from many seaside resorts such as Bournemouth, Blackpool, Margate, Llandudno and Skegness.Cornwall will also have no trains at all.
Services across Britain will primarily be restricted to main lines tomorrow, but even those will only be open between 7.30am and 6.30pm, and disruption is set to continue into Sunday.Also today:
- Only 60 per cent of the 20,000 normal weekday services ran today after the second day of strikes yesterday;
- The London Overground was suspended between Romford and Upminster today due to the industrial action;
- The Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines in London both had delays today because of cancellations;
- Leaders of more than 100 global transport unions urged Grant Shapps to meet unions to resolve the dispute;
- Traffic congestion on London’s roads during the morning rush hour today was at its lowest level of the week;
- British Airways workers based at London Heathrow Airport have now voted to strike in a dispute over pay;
- Britons heading abroad again endured huge queues at UK airports such as Heathrow and Manchester today.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch confirmed that the union would ‘take a pause next week and consider everything’, adding that a strike by managers involved with the TSSA could see more workers enter the dispute.
Meanwhile there were slim hopes today that future Tube strikes could be averted — following four walkouts in the past three months — after Sadiq Khan suggested that he accepted the union’s demands not to cut pensions.
The London Mayor said he was ‘not persuaded’ that ‘final salary’ pension scheme run by Transport for London, which cost the operator £401million in contributions last year, should have its benefits altered.
The pensions issue is a major concern to the RMT along with pay rises and a cut of 600 station staff jobs.The union has already walked out on the Tube in recent months on March 1 and 3 and June 6, as well as on Tuesday.
KING’S CROSS — London King’s Cross railway station looks very quiet this morning as the strikes continue to impact services
WATERLOO — Commuters on the concourse at London Waterloo railway station today as the impact of strikes continues
EUSTON — London Euston railway station looks very quiet this morning as the strikes continue to impact services
EUSTON — Rail, Maritime and Transport union general secretary Mick Lynch arrives at its offices near London Euston today
WIMBLEDON — Queues for buses in Wimbledon, South West London, this morning following the second day of train strikes
DISTRICT LINE — A District line station on the London Underground is closed today following the strike action this week
FARRINGDON — Tube services run as normal through Farringdon station in London this morning after a week of disruption
On Friday 92 per cent of RMT members have voted to continue Tube strike action.» itemprop=»description» />
On Friday 92 per cent of RMT members have voted to continue Tube strike action.website preload=»none»>
«activeClass» : «wocc»,
«pageCount» : «3.0»,
«pageSize» : 1,