Britain’s biggest rail strike in more than 30 years will begin next Tuesday, causing almost a week of disruption to train services.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport workers’ union (RMT) confirmed on Saturday that talks have failed to resolve a bitter row over pay, jobs and conditions, meaning that strike action will go ahead.
Three 24-hour strikes at Network Rail and 13 train operators are planned on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, as well as on London Underground on Tuesday. About 40,000 workers are expected to take part.
Despite discussions over the past few weeks with senior representatives from Network Rail, train operators and London Underground, the RMT says it has not been able to reach a “viable” settlement.
Its general secretary, Mick Lynch, said: “Despite the best efforts of our negotiators, no viable settlements to the disputes have been created.”
“It has to be restated that the source of these disputes is the decision by the Tory government to cut £4bn of funding from our transport systems – £2bn from national rail and £2bn from Transport for London.
“As a result of this transport austerity imposed by the government, the employing companies have taken decisions to savage the railway pension scheme and the Transport for London scheme, cutting benefits, making staff work longer, and poorer in retirement, while paying increased contributions.”