Over the course of the past year, it has become unsurprising for rail strikes to be announced. Since June of 2022, there have been many complaints from consumers and transport leaders concerning the impact alongside a great risk of some becoming desensitised to the cause. Now, travel business leaders have stepped up to demand action to end the “relentless” rail strikes.
Both the ministers and unions involved have seen big demands from a select few travel business leaders following the effects that these rail strikes have had on travel over the past year. The most notable call for action to date came recently from the head of the Business Travel Association (BTA).
The leader of the BTA announced this demand following a call to action from the RMT union concerning the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool that will take place on the 13th of May. Plans were established for a rail strike on the aforementioned weekend.
Aslef, the train drivers’ union, also announced the plans for rails trokes on the 12th of May, the 31st of May, and the 3rd of June. The final date was taken in order to strike during the FA Cup Final at Wembley. All these rail strikes come as a result of an unresolved issue concerning the pay of train drivers.
A warning was sent out prior to these dates by Aslef, which represents over 96% of train drivers, that on the day of these rail strikes it is incredibly unlikely that train services will run. Alongside this, the RMT announced strikes would be taken across 14 different train operators on the 13th of May following the rejection of the most recent pay offer.
The business travel leader stating the demand for a stop to be brought to the rail strikes said, “Sadly, we are no longer surprised by the disappointing news of yet more crippling strike action across the rail network.
“While the world’s eyes are fixed on the UK as we host the FA Cup Final and Eurovision – for the first time in 25 years on behalf of Ukraine – it is disgraceful that the government and unions can’t co-ordinate to end the relentless industrial action that has forced the country to stop in its tracks.
“The unions need to stop pointing fingers and come to a reasonable solution with the government, to support their rail staff whilst accommodating inflation rates.”
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