Britons can expect a disrupted festive period as railway union RMT announced today a few 48-hour strikes across December and January following a breakdown in industrial relations.
More than 40,000 members working at Network Rail and 14 other train operating companies will walk out on 13, 14, 16, 17 December as well as 3, 4, 6, 7 January.
The RMT also said there will be an overtime ban across the railway network from 18 December until 2 January, meaning workers will strike for up to four weeks.
“We have been reasonable, but it is impossible to find a negotiated settlement when the dead hand of government is presiding over these talks,” said general secretary Mick Lynch.
“In the meantime, our message to the public is we are sorry to inconvenience you, but we urge you to direct your anger and frustration at the government and railway employers during this latest phase of action.”
According to the union’s boss, negotiations between the union and operators broke down yesterday after the Rail Delivery Group failed to deliver their written proposals.
The RMT – whose cancelled strike earlier this month still caused significant disruption across the network – said the negotiating process “had become a farce.”
The Rail Delivery Group rebutted the accusations, calling the RMT back to the negotiating table.
A group spokesperson said the industrial action “will cause huge damage to the hospitality and retail sectors dependent” on the Christmas period.
“We owe it to them to stay round the table,” they said.