Rail strikes live: 'Do not travel' warnings as rail staff walk out; anger as government 'reveals redundancies date during late talks on dispute'

6/21/2022 3:49:00 PM

The biggest walk-out of rail staff in more than 30 years is under way, before further walk-outs on Thursday and Saturday; Tube strike also taking place today.

'They've just told another lie.' General Secretary of RMTunion Mick Lynch denies that the RMT will not speak to government and insists it is up to them to 'approach the table constructively'. Latest here:

The biggest walk-out of rail staff in more than 30 years is under way, before further walk-outs on Thursday and Saturday; Tube strike also taking place today.

One father, Johnny, 49, from Westminster, has described how he will set off at 6am and drive his son 25 miles to school to ensure he arrives in time for his A-Level exam on Thursday.Meanwhile, Emmanuella Ameyaw and Harriet Owusu-Afriyie described how they spent more than an hour travelling to college today for their A-level exam.

Travellers have lashed out over what they described as the"disgraceful" increase in taxi fares as demand surges due to the rail strikes.Zipcar and black cabs were also experiencing higher demands but people will only have to pay the usual price for these services.

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RMTunion Mick Lynch is auditioning to be the next Bond villan. RMTunion The Rail Companies are under private ownership nowt to do with the Government. Are all RMTunion members thick turds? LabourStrikes LaboursStrike RMTunion Mick Lynch, one minute you're moaning that Grant Shapps won't come to the negotiating table and now you're saying you're 'not particulary bothered' whether he does or not. Which is it? Get yourself back on track with the negotiations with the rail companies and sort this mess out

RMTunion Mick Lynch you are not an honest man send people back to work, your union will destroy the economy.

Rail strike: Travellers face reduced service ahead of rail strikesLast minute talks are due to take place, but passengers are advised to avoid train travel as services prepare to wind down. That’s what a strike does. Reduces services. Though I’m sure your chauffeur will turn up as usual Another morning to give the BIASED BROADCASTING CORPORATION news a miss. It will go on and on and on and on and on and on and on about the rail strike which everyone knows about already Why does the BBC continue to ask stupid questions like 'if you were in power' to Labour Mps, try asking tory mps the questions that matter while they are in power, it's the tories holding the country to ransom, not the other way around

Rail strike: When is it and which trains are running?Rail passengers are facing severe disruption to services this week as workers strike over pay and jobs. How about the management of the train company s taking a pay cut instead of doing it to the WORKERS I mean they would not notice it anyway I hope they don’t get what they want!!! 🤞🏻 they have super high salary already! I love how they said plan ahead and then they cancel planned trains 🤬

Newspaper headlines: Britain 'runs into buffers' as PM 'inflames' rail disputeThe biggest rail strike in 30 years, which starts on Tuesday, leads nearly all the front pages. Chaos. Anyone not going on strike.... this is just another attempt to remove Boris. 11%-15% get bloody serious, what of those who could not strike. strikemainia The mail, the express and telegraph once again pushing political game playing spun drivel 🙄🤦🏼‍♂️

Labour Frontbenchers Face The Sack If They Go On Rail Strike Picket LinesA shadow cabinet member told HuffPost UK: 'It’s a sensible decision given Tories want to blame us for their failings. We mustn’t fall into their trap.' Terrible decision

Rail strikes: Parties struggle to deal with the politics of painStrikes and inflation create major headaches for both the Conservatives and Labour. Up the Workers!!! victory to the strikers!!!! Strikers basically say, we are that unemployable that we have to hold a company/customers 'to ransom' rather than walk. The government is responsible for this. They are in charge.

Boris Johnson backs laws to stop rail strike misery ever happening againSTRIKE-busting legislation to allow agency workers to cover for industrial action to be tabled within days. Boris Johnson has backed the plan and will challenge Labour to show it is on the side of … It takes a year to train a driver, 3 months for a ticket inspector- he's talking oot his erse again. Not to be sniffed at Course he would it means the government doesn't have to do anything ( same as now ).

Updates from our correspondents around the UK - live reporting by Richard Williams and Bhvishya Patel 13:51:01 Rail strikes adding to exam stress We have been hearing a lot about the impact the rail strikes are having on students taking their exams.here .are due to strike over pay at Greater Anglia on 23 June and 2 July and on Croydon Tramlink on 28 and 29 June and 13 and 14 July.About sharing Image caption, The rail strikes this week dominate almost all of Tuesday's front pages.

One father, Johnny, 49, from Westminster, has described how he will set off at 6am and drive his son 25 miles to school to ensure he arrives in time for his A-Level exam on Thursday. He said:"He has been very anxious about how to get to school and not to be late. Mr Shapps has dismissed a call from the RMT for ministerial intervention as a "stunt" - and claimed union bosses were "gunning for" industrial action. Although we understand the reasons behind the strike this is very disrupting. The RMT says most of its members aren't high earners and deserve more. I think children have suffered enough during the pandemic. The Labour Party has also called on the government to step in. "Some of (my son's) friends from school don't live nearby and they also have to travel long distances. The paper says business leaders have warned that grinding Britain's railways to a halt will cost hospitality firms £1bn.

His exam starts at 9am and they have to be at school by 8. "Many rail staff who will be hit hardest - such as caterers and cleaners - are on low and average earnings. The median (middle) pay for all employees in the UK was £25,971 last year.30am the latest. I have to start working at 10am so I will have to be late. However, Rail Delivery Group chair Steve Montgomery said rail bosses were trying to work with unions "on how to carry out modernisation and reform of the industry" amid falling passenger numbers. "I actually do sympathise (with the industrial action) but I disagree with the timing. The RMT says the jobs are safety critical. The timing isn't good.. Image caption, "It's all going a bit loco", the Metro says, leading on the same story.

I strongly believe the government should have never allowed the situation to escalate to this." Meanwhile, Emmanuella Ameyaw and Harriet Owusu-Afriyie described how they spent more than an hour travelling to college today for their A-level exam. but we have to get on with reform, and that helps us deliver the next phase of giving people a pay rise. However, with passenger numbers still down by one fifth, the government says reform is needed. They spoke to Sky News this morning.. Who? The RMT union's members include everyone from guards and catering staff to signallers and track maintenance workers.. If you have a ticket for one of the strike days, you can use it the day before, or until Tuesday of the following week. The paper quotes Labour as saying Transport Secretary Grant Shapps "hasn't lifted a finger" to resolve the issues.

13:42:01 Soaring taxi fares amid strike prompt anger Travellers have lashed out over what they described as the"disgraceful" increase in taxi fares as demand surges due to the rail strikes. Read more here . With 80% of trains cancelled and a spike in road congestion, many are resorting to taxis instead. Uber users in London are facing a surge in prices with a three-mile journey from Paddington to King's Cross estimated to cost £19 just after midday - down from £27 at 8.co. Will I have to go to work? The pandemic has made working from home more common.45am. Elsewhere in London, Addison Lee taxis said it had limited availability on Tuesday morning and travellers were having to pay a £5 surcharge for all journeys. Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. Image caption, In other news, the i leads on a report that Downing Street has asked ministers to ease restraints on top City pay to show overseas companies the "benefits of Brexit".

Zipcar and black cabs were also experiencing higher demands but people will only have to pay the usual price for these services." But not everyone will get that option. MJ Shannon, a bar manager, said she had to take a £30 Uber taxi, instead of a local train service, from Hale, Cheshire, where she was at a training event, to get to Manchester Piccadilly before a train home to Newcastle-upon-Tyne. "I'm trying to get back to Newcastle. It's not the worst inconvenience in the world, all the major lines are still running," she said Meanwhile, Karen Longhurst, who had to pay a £44.co.85 Uber fare to get to work, tweeted:"Disgraceful Uber Uber - I can't work from home as I work in the the NHS.

" Jamie Murphy tweeted:"Great uber driver tells me he 'saved me this morning'. Fair enough pal - but you did charge £30 quid with nearly a 50% surge. You can also get in touch in the following ways: WhatsApp:." 13:30:01 Woman on brink of tears - and maybe regretting visiting her boyfriend - after four-hour slog across London Sky News correspondent Ivor Bennett writes:  It really has been a case of planes, trains and automobiles for Heidi Bennett, who's spent more than 4 hours trying to traverse London on her way from Heathrow in the west to Chingford in the north-east. After flying in from South Africa this morning, she took a train to Paddington, a bus to Bow, before walking across Victoria Park to catch an Overground train from Homerton to Stratford, where she caught another bus. We caught up with her in Walthamstow after the bus she was on terminated prematurely, turfing her out a few miles short of home.

"It's an absolute nightmare," she said, on the verge of tears. "I'm just tired and I just want to get home. I've had enough." Heidi went to South Africa to see her boyfriend, who works for an airline, but she now thinks"it wasn't worth it". "I'm just really frustrated," she said.

"I don't think it's a good time to be striking when we're just coming out of a pandemic. It makes no sense at all." 13:19:59 How the strikes are affecting the hospitality sector From the Sky News business desk: The hospitality sector is particularly vulnerable to the effects of these strikes. Anything that encourages workers to stay home will hit an industry that is heavily reliant on human interaction and, in many places, commuter traffic. At the same time, very few hospitality workers are able to work from home.

Add that to the fact that hospitality was one of the hardest-hit by the coronavirus restrictions, on top of staff shortages, and the cost-of-living pressures most of us are facing… you have the perfect storm. With this in mind – and the possibility of further strikes after this week – hospitality-related shares have taken a light battering during the morning. Pub chain Mitchells & Butlers fell 1.4% before recovering slightly. The Restaurant Group, which owns businesses such as Wagamama, was down just over 0.

3%. Whitbread, which owns pubs and brands such as Premier Inn, reversed earlier gains to be down 0.15% at lunchtime. Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the rail strikes risk turning"ongoing operational headaches into a fully-blown migraine for the hospitality industry". She added:"Although spending in suburbia may hold up, with more commuters staying at home and venturing out more locally instead, the strike is set to empty streets in urban areas.

"The possibility of a sunshine boost to sales in town and city centres is evaporating, given that vastly fewer outings are being planned and those who do venture out are likely to hurry home to avoid being stranded." 12:49:10 Law firm says government plan to allow agency staff to cover striking workers is 'astonishing' Ministerial plans to change the law to allow temporary workers to fill in for strikers will"erode the rights of workers and the power of trade unions", a leading law firm has said. Yesterday, it was reported that the government would repeal laws banning businesses using workers from elsewhere in an organisation, or who are employed by agencies, to fill in for striking workers amid concerns that walk-outs would affect the economy. The Recruitment and Employment Confederation issued a joint statement with the TUC calling for the"unworkable" plan to hire agency workers to fill in for strikers to be abandoned. Now, Samantha Dickinson, equality and diversity partner at Mayo Wynne Baxter, has said that while the legislation would mean employers can be more"agile" when faced with strike action, this would"inevitably further erode the rights of workers and the power of their trade unions".

She said:"This threat to remove the current prohibition on engaging agency staff to carry out the work of striking employees is astonishing, bearing in mind it wasn't that long ago that the government voiced outrage when P&O hired in agency staff to replace their workforce. "That said, in 2015 the government consulted on the removal of this prohibition after promising to repeal 'nonsensical restrictions banning employers from hiring agency staff to provide essential cover during strikes'.  "Nothing came of that consultation and it's possible that yesterday’s announcement will meet a similar fate, but as our current prime minister is wont to rewrite decades-old ministerial guidance when it suits him, who is to say he won’t push through legislation of this nature." 12:48:21 Man buys inflatable kayak to get to work As commuters try to find alternative modes of transport today, one man has found a way to beat the chaos and save himself some money by travelling to work in an inflatable kayak, The Mirror reports. George Bullard, 33, who purchased his watercraft for £74, said he was able to beat the disruptions by travelling down the River Lugg for half an hour to get to his office in Radnorshire, Wales.

He said using the kayak had not only"saved him thousands" but was an"exceptional way to get to work". Mr Bullard told The Mirror:"I paddle in and back like any normal commuter and because the kayak is blow-up I can just deflate it and put it in my backpack, although it's a stretch to say I blend in. "It cost me £74, and I reckon it has saved me thousands. "I commute completely differently because adventures are part of my life." Mr Bullard, who previously kayaked across the North Atlantic Ocean, is now encouraging more commuters to"ditch the public transport and cars" and find alternative transport.

"Occasionally the weather isn't great but I guess that's part and parcel of being an adventurer. Sometimes getting to work and getting wet can be empowering," he added. 12:32:39 .