Rail union boss predicts strikes will spread to more sectors as Grant Shapps accuses RMT of ‘shooting’ for walkouts | Politics News


Britain faces a summer of discontent with more workers set to be voted for strike action, a union leader has warned, as a series of walkouts is set to cripple the rail network.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch predicted the industrial action could spread to other services, arguing that “people can’t take it anymore”.

Unions representing teachers and NHS workers have threatened a pay strike.

Speaking ahead of three days of staggered rail strikes, which are expected to cause widespread disruption to millions of train passengers, he insisted he wanted to reach a settlement but his members had no other choice than to “fight”.

But Mr Lynch has been accused by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps of ‘shooting’ for strikes, which he said would be ‘disastrous’ for the industry.

Mr Lynch told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “I think there will be a lot of unions voting across the country because people can’t take it anymore.

“We have people working full-time jobs who have to collect state benefits and use food banks. It’s a national disgrace.”

He confirmed that his union will continue walkouts over wages, conditions and job losses.

The strikes will take place on Tuesday June 21, Thursday June 23 and Saturday June 25.

Explanation: Here are all the details you need to know to get through the disturbance

But Network Rail said the industrial action will result in six days of disruption as services will be affected on the days in between.

This threatens to be the start of a summer of discontent, amid widespread concern about the Cost of life crisis as inflation is expected to reach 11% later this year.

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Mr Lynch added: “We don’t want to be the cause of disruption in people’s lives. We want a resolution to this dispute, but we are facing a crisis for our members.

“If we don’t play our game, thousands of my members will lose their jobs, rail services will be curtailed, the long-established security regime will be curtailed.

“We have to fight this this.

“Because we haven’t had any pay raises, we are facing thousands of job cuts and they want to remove the terms and conditions in a form of fire and internal rehiring at the railroad. That’s it as ruthless as P&O really is.

“We are available to negotiate.”

He also said the Transport Secretary’s claims that the union refused to attend talks on Saturday in a bid to end the strike were “all fabrications”.

Mr Lynch said: “He’s making it up. What he’s saying is wrong. No negotiation was planned.

“If there is no settlement, we will continue our campaign.”

Mr Shapps told Ridge: ‘They’re shooting for this strike I’m afraid and I’m going to upset millions of Britons.’

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