As it happenedended1656317753

Train strikes - live: Lynch asks government to ‘tone down rhetoric’ and ‘settle dispute’

Follow latest updates here

Rail strike: millions affected by travel disruption from RMT walkout

Mick Lynch, the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union boss has asked called on transport secretary Grant Shapps to “tone down the rhetoric and get on with his job” to "settle this dispute".

His remarks came after Mr Shapps accused the union of "damaging people's lives" after thousands of commuters were affected last week due to the biggest rail strike in the UK in more than three decades.

Train services were crippled again on Saturday due to another 24-hour strike by thousands of workers in a bitter dispute over jobs, pay and conditions.

Urging Mr Shapps to engage in talks, the union boss said: "So if Grant Shapps wants to be constructive that’s what he can do. He needs to tone down the rhetoric and get on with his job, which is to settle this dispute."

Last week's strikes were called as part of a dispute over pay and conditions on the railways, after the government asked train operating companies to find savings through “modernisation”.

1656301751

Welcome to The Independent’s live blog on the aftermath of the biggest rail strike in more than three decades in the UK.

1656303485

RMT union boss asks government to ‘tone down rhetoric’

Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union general secretary Mick Lynch has asked Grant Shapps to “tone down the rhetoric and get on with his job” to settle the ongoing dispute.

“So if Grant Shapps wants to be constructive that’s what he can do. He needs to tone down the rhetoric and get on with his job, which is to settle this dispute,” the union boss said on Saturday.

Earlier, the transport secretary had accused the union of “damaging people’s lives” after thousands of commuters were affected by three days of industrial action last week.

1656304197

Brandon Lewis criticised for using train driver salaries in strike interview

Brandon Lewis has been criticised for referring to train drivers’ salaries while discussing the RMT rail strike - just a day after prime minister Boris Johnson did the same thing.

The Northern Ireland secretary appeared on Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme where he said train drivers were earning between £56,000 and £70,000.

He added that the dispute - which prompted industrial action on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday - is an “issue between the employer and unions” and that people want to see a resolution.

Joe Middleton reports.

1656305906

Scottish Labour leader blames UK government for rail strikes

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said the rail strikes were “entirely of the UK government’s making”.

“It is important to give solidarity to striking workers at picket lines and it is important to recognise that this is a crisis entirely of the UK government’s making,” Mr Sarwar told Channel 4.

“The workers don’t want to strike, the unions don’t want to strike, the public doesn’t want the strike, and all of them demand better of this government. And I think Grant Shapps needs to stop playing the political games, stop the culture war here, get around the table and get a deal (sic).”

1656306613

Labour MP donates to strike fund

Labour MP Nadia Whittome has donated £2,000 to the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union’s strike fund.

“These rail workers are leading the way for all workers. They’re the ones who need a pay rise, not MPs,” Ms Whittome said.

1656307997

Christmas presents could be affected by rail strikes: report

Christmas presents could be affected by the series of rail strikes due to disruption of the supply chain, months before the festive season.

According to reports, over 600 freight trains run in the UK every day, carrying goods such as TVs, clothes and decorations.

“As the year goes on, freight gets busier, particularly containers, so that’s a big worry. The China surge will come in – and those ships are sailing now. It always gets busier into August, particularly when we start seeing Christmas stuff come through,” an industry figure was quoted by The Mirror as saying.

1656308841

Backlash after senior Labour leader attacks strikes

A senior Labour figure has toughened the party’s stance ahead of a “summer of discontent” over falling pay by saying he does not “support strikes” – triggering a backlash.

David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary, said he “categorically” does not support a walkout by BA check-in staff, dismissing their call for a 10 per cent pay increase.

Calling it “very sad when any union calls its members out”, Mr Lammy also said: “I don’t support strikes,” before adding: “I support the right to strike of course.”

Rob Merrick has more.

1656311420

Mick Lynch: The trade union leader who is nobody’s puppet

The general secretary of the RMT union has been taking on, and vanquishing, all comers – politicians and journalists alike. Now he has become a thorn in Boris Johnson’s side, writes Sean O’Grady.

1656314120

ICYMI | Why are the train strikes happening?

Travel across the UK was disrupted for much of last week as the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union launched the biggest strike to hit the British rail network in 30 years.

But what is the reason for the disruption, and why are train workers striking?

Here’s everything we know so far.

1656317753

More rail strikes likely, says Lynch

Mick Lynch, the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union boss, has not ruled out the possibility of future rail strikes if talks with the government fail.

The union boss told BBC that talks would continue and he would consult members to see “if and when there needs to be a new phase of industrial action”.

“But if we don’t get a settlement, it’s extremely likely there will be,” he said.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in