Train strikes August: are UK rail and tube strikes planned this week, services affected, what has RMT said?

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As rail strikes continue across the country, Mick Lynch warned that the rail dispute could go on“indefinitely”

Thousands of rail staff were on strike again on Saturday (20 August), following strike action last Thursday that caused severe travel disruption across the country.

A Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union walkout also took place on the London Underground on Friday.

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Workers are taking part in a series of strikes over a pay dispute with the government, and so far appear to be no closer to reaching an agreement.

RMT boss Mick Lynch says rail strikes could continue ‘indefinitely (image: Getty Images)RMT boss Mick Lynch says rail strikes could continue ‘indefinitely (image: Getty Images)
RMT boss Mick Lynch says rail strikes could continue ‘indefinitely (image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

Are rail strikes taking place this week?

In a spot of good news for rail passengers, train strikes will not take place this week.

Trade Unions are required by law to give two week’s notice of any strike action, so that the government can mitigate some of the worst disruption.

Andrew Haines earns 19-times the salary of the average pay the RMT says its members receive (image: Getty Images)Andrew Haines earns 19-times the salary of the average pay the RMT says its members receive (image: Getty Images)
Andrew Haines earns 19-times the salary of the average pay the RMT says its members receive (image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

As strike action has not been announced for the following week it cannot take place.

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Several strikes in different industries will take place this week, including the Unite strike by Felixstowe port workers, Unite members in waste, recycling, and street cleaning in Edinburgh, AQA exam board workers, and Royal Mail workers.

Will there be more train strikes in September?

So far, further strike action by rail workers has not been announced, although it does look likely.

The earliest that strike action could take place is two weeks from a new announcement, so if further action were to be announced this week rail strikes could theoretically continue from September at the earliest.

Why are rail workers striking?

Rail workers were on strike over pay dispute with the government - union leaders rejected an offer by Network Rail, a government-owned company, of a 4% pay rise with a further 2% next year, and another 2% which is conditional on them achieving modernisation milestones.

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RMT Union has demanded a pay rise in line with inflation, which now stands at almost 10%.

What has RMT said?

Mick Lynch, RMT general secretary, said on BBC Breakfast: “I think the British public are fed up of being ripped off by this Government and by corporate Britain, which have seen companies like BP and British Gas making massive profits while people are struggling to make a living.

“The companies are being supported in this by the Government and we’re determined to get a square deal for our people and that’s exactly what we’ll achieve and the public seems to be right behind us in that campaign.

“I’ll be talking to senior executives in the industry all through next week trying to create solutions to these problems and then we’ll decide whether we need to take more industrial action but I’ve got to say that it’s very likely given the gap between us at this time.”

Speaking from a picket line on 18 August, Lynch said that if the government did not get invovled in negotiations, the dispute would be prolonged “indefinitely”.

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