Train strikes dates: More railway workers to be balloted for action this month:

RMT confirm rail strikes will go ahead on Thursday:

More railway workers are to vote on strikes, threatening fresh disruption in the industry throughout the summer, it was announced on Thursday.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) served notice to ballot dozens of members at TransPennine Express (TPE) for strike action and short action of a strike in a dispute over pay, conditions and job security.

The union is demanding a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies for 2022, no unagreed changes to terms and conditions, and a pay increase which reflects the rising cost of living.

The ballot opens on 29 June and closes in mid-July, so the earliest that industrial action could be taken is 27 July.

The TSSA is also balloting its members in Network Rail, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, West Midlands Trains, Avanti West Coast, Northern, LNER, C2C and Great Western Railway (GWR) in an escalating dispute across the railway.

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Mr Lynch added: “We think that’s what every worker in Britain, in every business should have. But what we’re faced with now is a clampdown. And it’s a deliberate clampdown by the government… and they’re using the temporary phenomenon of Covid as an excuse to rip out and strip out terms and conditions. “

Katy Clifton:24 June 2022 01:30:

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Rail workers treated as ‘out of fashion’

Union boss Mike Lynch has said the government lorded rail workers as “heroes” during the pandemic, only to treat them as “out of fashion” now restrictions have lifted.

Speaking on BBC One’s Question Time, the head of the RMT union said: “We were lorded as heroes by Grant Shapps, they worked all the way through the pandemic, they were not furloughed, and they kept our railway and transport systems going.

“But what they’re being told now as a result of that, is that you’re out of fashion, you’re out of date, somehow the terms and conditions that we’ve negotiated over many years and we think are a fair deal… ”

Katy Clifton:24 June 2022 00:38:

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Emily Eavis thanks Glastonbury festivalgoers for their commitment and support:

Emily Eavis has thanked Glastonbury festivalgoers for their commitment in attending the event, saying she thinks “the best people in the world come here”.

The 42-year-old co-organizer of the event was speaking the day after the festival opened its gates for the first time in three years after it was cancelled twice amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The music offering this year features headliners Billie Eilish, Sir Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar, with Diana Ross filling the Sunday Teatime Legends slot.

Eleanor Sly:23 June 2022 21:55:

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What train services will run on Friday after the latest strike?

Train services will continue to be disrupted on Friday due to the knock-on effects of the second day of this week’s rail strikes.

Eleanor Sly:23 June 2022 20:30:

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Passenger numbers below 20 per cent as train services disrupted by second day of strikes:

Passenger numbers at major railway stations were below a fifth of usual levels as services were hit on the second day of rail strikes.

Network Rail said the amount of people using its stations on Tuesday, the first day of this week’s strikes, was 12-18 per cent of normal, and there was a similar situation on Thursday.

Edinburgh Waverley, London Euston, London Paddington and Liverpool Lime Street were among the stations with far fewer passengers than a typical weekday.

Eleanor Sly:23 June 2022 19:50:

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Sadiq Khan: Government has ‘zero engagement’ over TfL funding crisis:

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has accused the government of “zero engagement” over Transport for London’s (TfL) funding crisis, as the settlement currently in place reaches expiration.

Sadiq Khan said that this could lead to cuts which have “never been seen in London before” just a day before the fourth funding settlement of the pandemic, which took government support to £ 5 billion, reaches an end on Friday.

The mayor said that without a long-term funding plan Londoners would see a 10 per cent reduction in Underground services, which is the equivalent of an entire Tube line. It could also mean the loss of more than 100 bus routes.

Speaking at a TfL bus garage in East Ham on Thursday, Mr Khan said: “For months now, I’ve been asking to start constructive negotiations with ministers so that we can agree to a fair and sustainable funding deal for TfL.

“We’ve had zero engagement from the Transport Secretary, and we’ve yet to see any proposals for a long-term funding deal.

“More short-term extensions with no promise of any additional long-term funding simply does not cut it.

“It’s no way to treat Londoners and the transport network they rely upon – if the government continues to refuse to provide a fair funding deal, TfL will be forced to put our transport network into managed decline.”

Eleanor Sly:23 June 2022 19:10:

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UK government should ‘respect’ striking workers, says Sturgeon:

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that the UK government should have “respect” for workers and that they need to resolve the train dispute that is “crippling” the UK.

Ms Sturgeon was asked during First Minister’s Questions on Thursday whether or not she believes the UK reported reported proposals to allow agency staff to replace striking workers is simply “inflaming” the issue.

She reponded: “[Workers] are paying the price for Tory anti-trade union rhetoric, in fact, anti-trade unionism which I completely deprecate.

“We should respect workers across the economy. We should respect public sector workers and we should seek to negotiate fair resolution to disputes, particularly at a time of inflation – inflation being exacerbated in the UK by the folly of Brexit.

“The rail strike that is crippling the UK right now is not the result of a pay dispute with ScotRail. It is a dispute with Network Rail and with English train operating companies, therefore it is entirely a reserved matter. ”

The First Minister added that she understands that there is a danger of the dispute “escalating” should resolution fail to be reached between rail employers and unions.

Eleanor Sly:23 June 2022 18:38:

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Travelers advised to avoid BA flights this summer:

Travelers are not advised to book a British Airways flight this summer “at this stage”, a GMB national officer said.

This comes after BA workers based at Heathrow voted to strike in a dispute over pay.

Nadine Houghton told BBC Radio 4’s PM program: “I would imagine there would be action during the summer holidays.”

Asked whether or not she would book a flight in late July, August or early September, she replied: “Not at this stage”.

She underlined how the union’s members have faced a 10 per cent pay cut as a result of BA’s “unethical approach during the pandemic”.

“They want that pay to be reinstated.”

Eleanor Sly:23 June 2022 17:33:

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This is why the rail strikes are really happening:

Grant Shapps, the jaunty secretary of state for transport who treats politics as a branch of showbusiness, keeps telling Keir Starmer to condemn the rail strikes, as if the RMT, a union which has disaffiliated from Labor and hasn’t much time for the leader of the opposition, would meekly obey the order of a man they probably despise more than Shapps.

Equally absurd, I have to say, is the shadow cabinet asking Shapps to “get management and unions around the table”, as if that in itself going to solve anything.

Tables and chatter are all well and good, but what really wanted is a strategy, a policy to deal with a 25 per cent drop in rail traffic that probably isn’t coming back.

Eleanor Sly:23 June 2022 16:47:

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British Airways says it’s ‘extremely disappointed’ over strike decision:

British Airways says it’s “extremely disappointed” after 700 workers based at Heathrow voted in favor of strike actions over pay.

A BA statement said: “We are extremely disappointed with the result and that the unions have chosen to take this course of action.

“Despite the extremely challenging environment and losses of more than £ 4bn, we made an offer of a 10 per cent payment which was accepted by the majority of other colleagues.

“We are fully committed to working together to find a solution, because to deliver for our customers and rebuild our business we have to work as a team.

“We will of course keep our customers updated about what this means for them as the situation evolves.”

Thomas Kingsley:23 June 2022 16:09:

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