The third day of a national UK rail strike is underway Saturday after talks with union leaders ended without a deal.
The 24-hour walkout is part of efforts by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers to press demands for higher pay, a ban on compulsory layoffs and the retention of existing working conditions. Track owner Network Rail says it’s seeking to modernize and deal with a plunge in passenger numbers as more people work at home.
The strikes this week have led many commuters to stay home, taking advantage of more flexible work arrangements ushered in by the pandemic. Now weekend travel is hit, disrupting getaways and major leisure events such as the Glastonbury music festival, which finishes Sunday.
No Deal Reached
Talks with the RMT ended Friday without a deal and will resume on either Sunday or Monday, a Network Rail spokesman said. The union’s executive committee meets Tuesday to decide on what further action to take.
“We won’t hesitate to use more industrial action if we can’t reach an agreement or if the companies carry through their threats to make people redundant,” Mick Lynch, general secretary of RMT, told Sky News on Saturday.
The union must give two weeks’ notice of any further strikes, meaning the trains should run normally for some time after Saturday’s disruption, according to the spokesman. A moratorium on compulsory job cuts, in exchange for operational reforms, is “an item of negotiation,” he said.