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‘I’m not the Grinch’: RMT union boss Mick Lynch defends new Christmas and New Year strikes | UK News


The boss of the railway workers union insisted he was “not a Grinch” when he announced four 48-hour strikes over Christmas and New Year.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said no offers have improved in terms of jobs, wages and conditions, so there will be more strikes.

About 40,000 employees from Network Rail and 14 training companies set to attack.

The dates are: December 13 and 14; December 16 and 17; January 3 and 4; January 6 and 7.

This means disruption for tourists, workers and shoppers before Christmas – and for those returning home from the holiday season.

There can also be problems on other days as the RMT says the overtime ban will be in effect from December 18 to January 2.

Mr. Lynch told reporters he was not trying to imitate the bad boy personality known as “Christmas-stealing”.

“I’m not a Grinch, I’m a union official and I’m determined to strike a deal,” he said.

He accused the government of “direct interference” in the negotiations and said the past two weeks of negotiations with Network Rail had failed to achieve a breakthrough.

The Christmas action will be the latest in a series railway strike started in June and followed the RMT members last week Vote to continue the strike for another six months.

Aslef union train drivers will hold a separate strike this Saturday, hitting services run by 11 operators, including Great Western and Southeast.

Strikes planned for early November were previously canceled by RMT after it said it would enter “intensive talks” in two weeks.

But Mr. Lynch said on Tuesday that a commitment from the training companies to make a written offer at the conclusion of those negotiations had not materialized.

A passenger looks at a bulletin board at Birmingham New Street station, as members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union join a new strike over jobs, wages and working conditions.  Photo date: Wednesday, July 27, 2022.
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Many travelers will face travel headaches if new strikes cannot be prevented

Responding to the new strikes, Network Rail’s chief negotiator stressed that there was a “precarious financial hole” in the industry, which only made the strike worse.

“Only through reform that won’t result in anyone losing a job can the savings be realized and then converted into an improved incentive,” said Tim Shoveller. .

“And while progress has been made over the past two weeks, we have yet to find that breakthrough.

“We will not give up and hope that the RMT will return to the negotiating table next week with a more realistic assessment of the situation.”

The prime minister’s spokesman said the strikes risked “jeopardizing the future of the rail industry” and called on the union to “come to an agreement that is fair to passengers, taxpayers and workers”. moving”.

The Rail Delivery Group, which represents the train companies, said “outlines of a credible deal” had surfaced in the latest talks.

However, it said the strikes would disrupt people’s first “normal” holiday season after COVID and hurt retail and hospitality businesses.

The railroad strikes are perhaps the most famous of the recent wave of industrial action. Other areas involved or considered strike including postal workers, nurses and civil servants.

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