Network Rail bosses say they plan to maintain extra talks with union leaders immediately in a last-ditch try to avert the largest strike on the railways for greater than three many years.

More than 40,000 rail staff are due to walk out on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Only about half of Britain’s rail community will probably be open on strike days with a really restricted service on strains that are open.

One Network Rail supply mentioned: “We are in the room talking and there has been some movement. The chances are slim, but there is some hope.”

In his strongest feedback but over the looming strike motion, the Labour chief Keir Starmer will say the strikes shouldn’t go forward. He was to use a speech at a convention on Sunday to accuse ministers of “pouring petrol on the fire” to gasoline a divisive dispute.

Network Rail has made some progress in talks deliberate to proceed at its London headquarters on Sunday afternoon with the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT). However, union bosses indicated on Saturday that there was virtually no likelihood of a last-minute breakthrough in talks over pay, jobs and circumstances.

Mick Lynch, the RMT basic secretary, mentioned “no viable settlements” had been tabled and the strikes would go forward. He mentioned 1000’s of jobs had been being reduce and staff confronted below-inflation pay rises.

Network Rail has provided a 2% pay rise, backdated to January, plus two additional rises through the yr of 0.5% every linked to productiveness and effectivity positive factors. Union negotiators need pay will increase to match inflation.

Tim Shoveller, Network Rail’s chief negotiator, mentioned: “I’m severe about making an attempt to discover a resolution and work out a compromise that provides our individuals a good pay rise, however it has to be reasonably priced for taxpayers and fare payers.

“Our presents have to this point been rejected, with union calls for removed from being reasonably priced. We will proceed to discuss and to attempt to discover a method by way of and avert this useless and damaging strike.” He mentioned he was shocked the RMT was dismissing talks earlier than they had been completed.

The strike entails railway workers at Network Rail and 13 train-operating corporations in the largest dispute on the community since 1989.

Even if a last-minute deal was agreed over Network Rail staff, workers employed by the train corporations would nonetheless go on strike. There may even be a 24-hour strike on London Underground on Tuesday. There will probably be no passenger providers to stations across Britain if the strikes go forward, together with Penzance, Bournemouth, Hastings, Holyhead, Blackpool and Hull. The routes that are open will function a really restricted service from 7.30am to 6.30pm.

Passengers are being suggested by the train corporations to journey provided that obligatory, with most commuters seemingly to work from home on strike days.

Glastonbury festival-goer on platform
Glastonbury festival-goers are amongst these seemingly to be affected. Photograph: Rob Stothard/Getty Images

With positive climate forecast for a lot of areas this week, the motion is about to disrupt a number of summer season occasions, together with the Glastonbury competition, the British Athletics Championships in Manchester and the third Test match between England and New Zealand at Headingley, Leeds.

The trade group UK Hospitality warned on Saturday the rail strikes had been seemingly to value the tourism, leisure and theatre industries greater than £1bn.

Kate Nicholls, chief government of trade group UK Hospitality, advised Times Radio that tourism and leisure companies which had been already fragile after pandemic lockdowns would take a “big hit”.

Some A-level and GCSE examinations are being held on the times of the motion. The Department for Education has mentioned it didn’t anticipate any examinations to be rescheduled due to the motion and suggested pupils and lecturers who journey by train to take into account various journey preparations.

Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, mentioned the federal government had repeatedly urged the RMT to resolve the dispute on the negotiating desk. He mentioned on Saturday: “Sadly they’ve ignored these requests, and we are actually on the cusp of main disruption which can trigger distress for individuals proper across the nation.

“Many individuals who don’t receives a commission if they will’t get to work face shedding cash at a time they merely can’t afford to.

“The RMT is punishing thousands and thousands of harmless individuals, as an alternative of calmly discussing the smart and obligatory reforms we want to make in order to defend our rail community.”

RMT bosses should negotiate with Network Rail and train firm bosses over the pay offers, however says the Treasury is “calling the shots”. Shapps final week rebuffed a name to meet union bosses, saying the talks had been rightly being performed by the employers.

The Observer understands Network Rail has been given a negotiating mandate and framework by the federal government. Once any deal is agreed, it’s seemingly an identical mandate will then be given to the train corporations.

Starmer is due to use a speech on the Labour Local Government Association annual convention in Coventry to accuse ministers of preferring to use strike motion for political assaults, successfully encouraging them to go forward.

“Businesses will struggle with freight. School exams will be hard to get to. Hospital appointments missed,” Starmer will say. “That’s why I’ve mentioned the strikes shouldn’t go forward. But right here’s the reality. Boris Johnson and Grant Shapps need the strikes to go forward. They need the nation to grind to a halt to allow them to feed off the division.

“Instead of spending their time this week across the negotiating desk, they’re designing assault advertisements. Instead of grown-up conversations to take the warmth out of the scenario, they’re pouring petrol on the fireplace. Instead of bringing individuals collectively in the nationwide curiosity, they’re stoking division in their political curiosity.”

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents the rail trade, says the federal government dedicated greater than £16bn to preserve the railways operating through the pandemic and reforms had been required to appeal to passengers again on the community.

An RDG spokesperson mentioned: “No one wins in the event of a strike. Working with Network Rail, our plan is to keep as many services running as possible, but significant disruption will be inevitable and some parts of the network will not have a service, so passengers should plan their journeys carefully and check their train times.”

Which are the sectors seemingly to be affected by strike motion?


A second rail union, Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, has served discover to poll 6,000 workers at Network Rail for industrial motion for a pay improve to mirror the price of dwelling disaster. In the occasion of a sure vote, strike motion might happen from Monday 25 July, the week the Commonwealth video games begin in Birmingham.

Local authorities

The three native authorities unions representing 1.4 million council staff have made a joint submission to native authorities for pay rises on the price of the retail costs index, at the moment at 11.1% or a £2,000 pay improve, whichever is the higher.

Civil servants

The Public and Commercial Services Union, the biggest commerce union in the civil service, is about to poll its members on industrial motion later this yr over 2022-23 pay proposals. It is looking for a nationwide pay rise of 10%.

The National Education Union, which represents 460,000 members, has dedicated to a poll in the summer season or autumn time period if they don’t safe pay will increase for lecturers across the board of no less than 8%.

Medical workers

Junior medical doctors in England say their pay has declined 22% in actual groups since 2008-09. The medical doctors’ union the British Medical Association says it’s going to poll for industrial motion by early 2023 on the newest if the demand to restore junior medical doctors’ pay will not be met. The Royal College of Nursing is demanding a pay award for nurses of 5% above inflation, however the authorities has requested to cap any pay will increase for 2022-23 at 3%.


The outcomes of a poll of 2,400 felony barristers will probably be introduced tomorrow on strike motion. Criminal trials may very well be halted with attainable stroll outs from Monday 27 June.

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