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Rishi Sunak holds crisis talks with Cabinet on Christmas strikes chaos

Rishi Sunak is assembling his Cabinet today amid growing fears that a wave of strikes will ruin Christmas.

The prime minister and his senior team are taking stock of the crisis in Downing Street, after the government refused to rule out tougher laws on industrial shares.

Angry ministers have accused rail union barons of ‘holding the country to the rescue’ by attacking passengers traveling home for the festive season with fresh strikes from 24-27 December.

The head of the militant RMT union, Mick Lynch, announced the escalation last night after wage negotiations with rail operators failed. He acknowledged that ‘the traveling public will be really disappointed, irritated and angry’, but said the union ‘didn’t have a choice’.

More than 40,000 railway workers will be on strike from 6:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve until 6:00 a.m. on December 27. This means those traveling to be with friends or loved ones on Christmas Day must travel by noon the day before if traveling across the country or risk not making it. there. Normally the trains would run until about 10pm

NHS, education and postal staff, as well as driving instructors, are also planning to go on strike over the festive season. Conservatives are alarmed by a repeat of the “winter of discontent” that effectively destroyed Callaghan’s government in the 1970s.

Rishi Sunak Is Assembling His Cabinet Today Amid Growing Fears That A Wave Of Strikes Will Ruin Christmas

Rishi Sunak is assembling his cabinet today amid growing fears that a wave of strikes will ruin Christmas

The Head Of The Militant Rmt Union, Mick Lynch, Last Night Announced An Escalation Of Strikes After Wage Negotiations With Rail Operators Broke Down.

The Head Of The Militant Rmt Union, Mick Lynch, Last Night Announced An Escalation Of Strikes After Wage Negotiations With Rail Operators Broke Down.

The head of the militant RMT union, Mick Lynch, last night announced an escalation of strikes after wage negotiations with rail operators broke down.

Along With Railway Workers, Nhs, Education And Postal Staff, As Well As Driving Instructors, They Plan A Strike Over The Festive Season.

Along With Railway Workers, Nhs, Education And Postal Staff, As Well As Driving Instructors, They Plan A Strike Over The Festive Season.

Along with railway workers, NHS, education and postal staff, as well as driving instructors, they plan a strike over the festive season.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb today urged the RMT not to ‘hold the country as bailout’, telling GB News: ‘This is a very disappointing decision by the RMT, employers have offered them a very good wage deal, eight per cent for two years. , which is in line with the type of wage deals that are taking place outside the public sector.

‘So I think the unions should really call off this strike. It’s making people all over the country uncomfortable in the run up to Christmas, I think it’s a very bad way to conduct negotiations.

“We would urge unions to talk to employers, to keep negotiating and not to hold a bailout for the country, especially in December as we approach Christmas.”

Two 48-hour strikes will also take place next week, on December 13-14 and December 16-17, along with two more on January 3-4 and January 6-7.

However, the union lifted a ban on overtime from December 18 to January 2, which could have led to hundreds of last-minute cancellations. Several operators rely on overtime work to run a full schedule.

Lynch said a new 9 percent wage increase offer this year, retroactive to January, and the next one will be presented to workers in a referendum. The offer also does not include mandatory layoffs until 2025.

But Lynch said the union will encourage members to reject it. The result will be announced on Monday.

It means that next week’s strikes will go ahead no matter what, but the December 24-27 strike and the January strike will be canceled if the members accept it.

However, members will not be presented with a separate 8 percent payment offer from 14 train companies covering most of the country, which are also involved in the dispute. This also includes a guarantee of no forced layoffs until April 2024.

It means there is likely to be considerable disruption in the coming weeks, even if Network Rail’s offer is accepted.

Lynch added: “At this point we don’t have anything that is acceptable to us and we feel that we have been forced to take this action due to the government’s intransigence. What we have been presented with is an extremely damaging offer.

“It’s very poor relative to the payment elements and our members just aren’t in a position to accept the changes that the companies have brought to the table.”

The RMT claims that the train operators’ offer would lead to job losses because it includes accepting the closure of some ticket offices and the deployment of more unguarded trains on the network.

Rmt Supporters Protest Outside Network Rail Offices On July 27, 2022

Rmt Supporters Protest Outside Network Rail Offices On July 27, 2022

RMT supporters protest outside Network Rail offices on July 27, 2022

Commuters At A Train Station In London

Commuters At A Train Station In London

Commuters at a train station in London

Mr Lynch denied that presenting Network Rail’s offer to members and lifting the ban on overtime was a sign he was “under pressure”.

But industry insiders said it was facing a growing backlash from workers angry about the ban on overtime, as it is a lucrative option for them at this time of year.

Many are also said to be angry at having lost thousands of pounds due to the nationwide strikes the union has been calling since June. Internal industry estimates suggest some workers stand to lose more than £4,000.

Former Leveling Up secretary Simon Clarke tweeted: “This is terrible of the RMT – ruining people’s Christmases with a two year 8% pay rise on the table (and no mandatory redundancies).

“The railway received £16bn – £600 per household – in emergency funds during Covid and the average wage for drivers is £59k, staff £44k.”

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Jacky

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