Rail strike – Travel chaos spirals as SECOND union vows to walk out on same day leaving summer holidays in tatters | The Sun

TRAVEL chaos has spiralled as a SECOND union has vowed to walk out on the SAME DAY – leaving Brits' summer holiday plans in tatters.

More than 50,000 railway staff with union RMT will carry out a three-day strike on June 21, 23 and 25.

And now, members of union Unite at Transport for London and London Underground will ALSO strike on June 21 – sparking chaos for thousands.

News of the latest strike comes after week of London-wide chaos, as Transport for London (TfL) workers walked out on Monday.

The strike continued until 8am on Tuesday morning – sparking huge queues for buses in the early morning rush hour.

And the chaos will continue, as more than 50,000 RMT union railway staff plan to walk out on June 21, 23 and 25.

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On June 21, TfL and London Underground staff will also strike.

RMT claims Network Rail and the train operating companies have subjected their staff to multiyear pay freezes and plan to cut thousands of jobs which will make the railways unsafe.  

Despite intense talks with the rail bosses, RMT has not been able to secure a pay proposal nor a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies.  

The strikes threaten widespread travel disruption during a number of major events, including concerts, test match cricket and the Glastonbury festival.

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Glastonbury starts on June 22, while that week will also see England play New Zealand in a test match in Leeds, the British athletics championships in Manchester, and gigs in London's Hyde Park by Sir Elton John and The Rolling Stones.

There will also be a Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London on June 24 and 25 and it is Armed Forces Day on June 25.

Now RMT union boss Mike Lynch has sworn he would like to find another way to get what they want other than strike.

Speaking to Good Morning Britain he said: "We don't want to cause misery.

"We've got a cost of living crisis and our workers have been working throughout the pandemic and their reward has been a pay freeze.

"I understand the anger of people – but I also understand the anger of our workers.

"We're not holding the public hostage – but we're not going to accept the poverty of our members.

"I would like to find another way other than strike but we've been talking to these companies for two years. 

"You're asking us to be passive in the face of aggression."


Meanwhile Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said the organisation is "doing everything we can" to avoid the strike action.

"There are two weeks until the first strike is planned. We will use this time to keep talking to our unions and, through compromise and common sense on both sides, we hope to find a solution and avoid the damage that strike action would cause all involved," he said.

Rail Delivery Group chairman Steve Montgomery said the strikes are "needless and damaging".

The announcement of the strike has caused huge anger and has left Brits facing a summer travel meltdown with chaos on the rails and rocketing fuel prices piled on top of airport misery.

The Prime Minister today described the rail strike action as "reckless and wanton" in the Commons.

At Prime Minister's Questions, Labour MP Afzal Khan said: "Two weeks ago the Prime Minister told the House: 'To the best of my knowledge everybody is getting their passport within four to six weeks', however the Passport Office is currently quoting a 10-week service time, with many of my constituents waiting well over that period.

"Cancelled summer trips could cost families over £1 billion. Does the Prime Minister accept that the Passport Office backlog is placing additional pressure on families already struggling with the cost-of-living crisis?"

Boris Johnson replied: "Actually what we are doing is 91% are getting their passport within six weeks I can tell him. We are putting hundreds more staff into the Passport Office.

"The strength of demand by the way is a sign of the robustness of the economy because everyone is frankly wanting to go on holiday and quite right too.

"But when it comes to travel chaos, have we heard any condemnation yet from the opposition for the RMT and their reckless and wanton strike?"

Downing Street has urged the RMT to call off rail strikes planned for later this month and come to the negotiating table.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said strikes would cause "lasting damage" to the industry and those who work in it.

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