Liz Truss has told striking rail workers to “get back to work” as they prepare to resume strikes in long-running disputes over pay, jobs and conditions.
The Prime Minister insisted she wants to take a “constructive approach” with the unions but told workers to end their industrial action to prevent disruption.
Some action had been paused as a mark of respect following the Queen’s death, but rail workers were scheduling a fresh wave of action.
Ms Truss had pledged during the Tory leadership race to legislate for minimum service levels within 30 days of becoming Prime Minister.
Speaking to reporters travelling with her during a UN summit in New York, the Prime Minister said she is committed to bringing in the change “as soon as possible”.
Pressed further, she said “it might be 30 sitting days”, referring to the days on which MPs are sitting in the House of Commons.
Asked for her message to striking workers, she said: “I want this country to be successful. And that means people being able to get to work. People being able to get on with their business, people being able to move projects forward.
“So I would encourage rail workers to get back to work. There’s no doubt we’re facing tough times as a country.
“I want to take a constructive approach with the unions, but I would tell them to get back to work.”
Members of the drivers’ union Aslef at 12 companies will walk out on October 1 and 5.
The action will disrupt travel for delegates and visitors to and from the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) plans for its members at Network Rail and 14 train operators to strike on October 1.
Aslef has warned it is in for the “long haul” as the rail disputes remain deadlocked.