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Disruptions to train services continue after 24-hour rail strike

·2-min read

Train services will continue to be disrupted on Thursday morning following a 24-hour strike which crippled the rail network, causing travel chaos across the country.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at Network Rail and 14 train companies walked out on Wednesday in a long-running dispute over jobs, pay and conditions.

Talks are expected to resume on Thursday but there is little sign of the deadlock being broken.

Strikes will be held on Saturday and next month by the RMT as well as members of the drivers’ union Aslef and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association.

Services will be affected on Thursday morning, threatening disruption to people travelling to Birmingham for the opening of the Commonwealth Games.

Aslef has announced that drivers at nine rail companies are to stage a one-day strike on Saturday August 13, saying the firms failed to make a pay offer to help members keep pace with increases in the cost of living.

Drivers are already set to strike this Saturday at seven companies and Aslef members at two more train operators voted overwhelmingly for industrial action.

Only around one in five trains ran on Wednesday, with some areas having no services at all.

Rail strikes
The near-empty station concourse during rush hour at London Euston on Wednesday (Aaron Chown/PA)

Mick Whelan, general secretary of Aslef, said: “Strikes are always the last resort.

“We don’t want to inconvenience passengers – our friends and families use public transport, too – and we don’t want to lose money by going on strike but we’ve been forced into this position by the companies, who say they have been driven to this by the government.”

A row broke out between unions and the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps after he laid out plans to curb industrial action, including stopping coordinated industrial action, limiting picketing, and having a cooling off period after strikes.

The RMT and TSSA will hold more strikes on August 18 and 20, while London Underground workers will walk out on August 19.

Strikes are also being held on Friday by BT workers and those at exam board AQA.

Royal Mail workers have voted to strike, while disputes are brewing over the pay of public sector workers including teachers and health employees.

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