Rail passengers have once again faced a spate of 48-hour strikes in the run-up to Christmas.
In early November, the leaders of the railway unions seemed ready to make a deal. He canceled a planned strike for the first week of the month and announced “intense talks” to break the deadlock in a labor dispute that has stalled the overdue reform of Britain’s railways.
It was hoped that through dialogue significant changes in working methods could be agreed upon. Changes that save money and allow the wider rail industry to balance the books in a post-Covid world.
But on Tuesday, hopes for reconciliation were dashed.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers’ Union (RMT) said its 40,000 members would walk out for eight days – the largest strikes to date in the dispute – which will shut down the rail network a week before Christmas and another week. properly. New Year.
Taking into account the planned work between Christmas and New Year, some lines will be largely out of service for most of the month from mid-December.
On what date is the train strike?
Only one in five trains are expected to run on strike days.
In the days following the strike – the so-called “shoulder days” – timetables will be around 60% of normal.
There is also a new work ban for overtime and rest days. Railroads generally assume that employees work overtime and rest days. Sangh’s ban on this could cause even more chaos. Train owners assess the impact and adjust the timetable accordingly.
Which train operators are concerned?
Virtually every railroad will be affected in some way.
RMT members are on strike at Network Rail and 14 train operators.
The action against the operators was heavily fueled by strikes on Network Rail, and in particular by signalmen.
Network Rail has a stock of trained signalmen, but is large enough to run 20 PCs at normal capacity.
Aslef strike, November 26
This train is operator specific. Affected lines are:
Can I get a refund if my train is cancelled?
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Passengers with tickets can use their tickets one day before the ticket date or until Tuesday, November 29.
Passengers with a monthly subscription or more or active travel days on flexible subscriptions who do not wish to travel on 26 November can claim compensation for these days via the Deferment of Payment Scheme. If you need to travel on November 26 and already have a ticket, please contact the train company.
For RMT strikes, the railway chief assesses what the policy will be and will make an announcement shortly. It is believed that the policy will be similar to that for Aslef’s union action this Saturday.
Why are RMT and Aslef employees on strike?
Both unions demand a wage increase for their members who are struggling with rising inflation.
For Aslef, this is the main bone of contention. It is believed that train operators may not need to offer double-digit pay raises to strike a deal with the drivers’ union.
For RMTs, the situation is more opaque. Network Rail offers an 8 percent increase over two years. Train operators have yet to discuss wage increases as they first need to agree on major reforms to working practices.
The most controversial issue in the dispute is the change in what has been labeled “archaic” work practices.
Travel habits have changed after the pandemic. Fewer people go to work every day. After the morning rush hour or at the weekend, more people travel with the valley trains. Demand for business travel is much lower than before Covid hit.
This means that Network Rail and train operators, whose costs are ultimately borne by the taxpayer, must make cuts to balance the books. Part of this can be achieved by reducing the number of employees. But much of it is changing the way things are done, many of which are a throwback to the days of British Rail and public ownership.
Let the boss introduce more technology, make teams work more efficiently, and let parts of the track operate in their own silos.
Trade unions fear this will likely mean job cuts – and by extension their power will be weakened.