The biggest railway strike in three decades is set to take place after last-ditch talks collapsed, the RMT union has said.
A walkout of 40,000 workers on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday will cause “utter misery” according to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
Mr Shapps said the walkout was ‘totally wrong’ and would upset millions of people, including those like his own daughter taking exams.
The strike is the result of a dispute over wages, jobs and working conditions. The RMT is calling for a 7% wage increase, lower than inflation but higher than that offered by the employers.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said the latest bids from state-owned Network Rail and private train operating companies had been rejected.
Mr Lynch blamed Mr Shapps for cutting billions of pounds from public transport funding.
“This dispute was fabricated by Shapps and by government policy,” he said.
The transport secretary is accused by the union of trying to impose a settlement that will see thousands of people lose their jobs.
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