Train strikes: which days in December and January 2023

Rail travelers face significant travel disruption over Christmas and New Year as workers stage a series of 48-hour strikes in December and January amid longstanding disputes over jobs, wages and working conditions.

The RMT union has announced that more than 40,000 Network Rail and 14 rail company workers will stage a series of 48-hour walkouts.

Labor disputes will take place on December 13, 14, 16 and 17 and on January 3, 4, 6 and 7.

The RMT has also issued a ban on overtime for its members throughout the rail network from December 18th to January 2nd.

This is followed by a strike this Saturday, November 26, by members of the train drivers’ union Aslef, who work for 11 train operators.

Speaking of the next tranche of work stoppages, RMT said in a statement: “Despite the best efforts of our negotiators, it is clear that the government is directly disrupting our attempts to reach an agreement.

“The union suspended previous strike action in good faith to allow for intensive negotiations to resolve the dispute.

“But Network Rail has failed to provide our members with an improved offer on jobs, pay and conditions over the past two weeks of talks.

“At the same time, the Rail Delivery Group, representing the railway companies, also broke a promise to make a meaningful offer on wages and conditions, even canceling negotiations that were supposed to take place yesterday.”

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “This latest round of strikes will show how important our members are to the governance of this country and send a clear message that we want a good deal on job security, pay and conditions for our staff.

“We’ve been reasonable, but it’s impossible to find a negotiated solution when the government’s dead hand is guiding these talks.

“Employers are confused and say different things to different people, sometimes at the same time.

“This whole process has become a farce that only the new foreign minister can unravel. When I meet him later this week, I will carry that message.”

Mr Lynch added the union regretted the inconvenience caused to the public at Christmas but urged them “to take their anger and frustration out on the government and railway employers during this final phase of action”.

“Professionals in our class need a raise and we are committed to getting it for our members in RMT,” he said.

The impact of these strikes is now well documented, with a series of similar work stoppages hit British travelers over the summer and early this autumn; Strikes by around 5,000 Network Rail signallers mean half the rail network is closed and the rest severely restricted.

Non-union members and managers will facilitate a service that runs between 7.30am and 6.30pm on about half of the rail network.

Network Rail chief negotiator Tim Shoveller said: “No one can deny the precarious financial hole the railroad finds itself in. Striking makes this hole bigger and the task of finding a solution becomes more and more difficult.

“Only through reform where nobody loses their jobs can savings be made which can then be translated into an improved supply. And while progress has been made in 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 table with a more realistic assessment of the situation.”

A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents rail operators, said: “We’ve made real progress over the past fortnight of talks and for the first time in months we can see the outlines of a credible deal.”

The ongoing disputes revolve around pay, working conditions and job security.

The RMT union says their average member earns £31,000 a year, “with many earning much less and none having seen an increase in three years”. The RMT also says the dispute is about “preventing catastrophic cuts that directly impact maintenance and accessibility.”

The Independent has asked the Ministry of Transport (DfT) for an opinion.

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