Train passengers are facing further disruption today as the RMT holds another day of strike action.
More than 40,000 workers at Network Rail and 14 train operating companies are set to take part in today’s strike as part of a dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.
Services operated by West Midlands Railway, Transport for Wales and Avanti West Cost are all affected with no services running in Shropshire today.
Whilst Transport for Wales is not in dispute with the RMT, industrial action means its services are unable to operate on Network Rail infrastructure.
Passengers should also expect disruption on the morning of Thursday 28 July with a later start to services as employees return to duties.
Further strike action will take place on Thursday 18 August and Saturday 20 August, which will significantly disrupt the rail network once again.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said union members were more determined than ever to secure a decent pay rise, job security and good working conditions.
Mr Lynch said: “Network Rail have not made any improvement on their previous pay offer and the train companies have not offered us anything new.
“In fact, Network Rail have upped the ante, threatening to impose compulsory redundancies and unsafe 50% cuts to maintenance work if we did not withdraw our planned strike action.
“The train operating companies have put driver-only operations on the table along with ransacking our members’ terms and conditions.
“RMT will continue to negotiate in good faith but we will not be bullied or cajoled by anyone.
“The Government need to stop their interference in this dispute so the rail employers can come to a negotiated settlement with us.”
Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: “Despite our best efforts to find a breakthrough, I’m afraid there will be more disruption for passengers.
“I can only apologise for the impact this pointless strike will have on passengers, especially those travelling for holidays or attending events such as the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 semi-final (Wednesday 27th) and the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games (Thursday 28th). It is frustrating to yet again ask our passengers to change their plans and only make essential journeys.”
Steve Montgomery, Chair of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “We are incredibly disappointed that the RMT and Aslef leadership are continuing with this action, disrupting the summer plans of millions – including those attending the Commonwealth Games.
“While we will do all that we can to minimise disruption to passengers, our advice is to only travel if it is necessary, and if you are going to travel, please plan ahead.
“We have a responsibility to bring our railway up to date and give our passengers a more punctual and reliable service so that we’re able to give our staff the pay rise they deserve. But it is wrong to continue asking taxpayers to shoulder more of the burden when they have already contributed £600 per household during the pandemic, or to expect passengers to fund it by paying more for their tickets, when they too are feeling the pinch.
“We ask the RMT and Aslef’s leadership to continue talking so we can come to a deal that works for our people, our passengers and for taxpayers.”