Rains across the UK have disrupted services as thousands of railway workers went on strike for the second time this week.
In Network Rail, members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union and 13 train operators walked out after failing to resolve a bitter dispute over salaries, jobs and conditions.
Only one train out of five will run on Thursday, and the lines will only open between 7.30am and 6.30pm, meaning services will start later and end earlier than usual.
With almost half of the network closed, trains will be limited to most main lines.
The government announced plans to change the law to enable businesses to provide skilled agency workers to fill staff gaps during industrial operations.
The ministers pointed out that, under current trade union rules, employment agencies are prohibited from providing temporary agency workers for strikers, saying it could have “disproportionate effects”.
The government said the legislation would repeal “burdensome” legal restrictions, giving companies affected by the strike action the freedom to hire business businesses that, on short notice, hire skilled, temporary agencies. Staff can provide.
Network Rail welcomed the move, but Labor and unions called it a “recipe for disaster.”
We will continue our industrial campaign until we find a negotiated settlement that provides job security and increases the salaries of our members, which is offset by the rising cost of living. Deals
The RMT accused Transport Secretary Grant Sheppard of “ruining” the talks.
RMT General Secretary McLinch said: “Grant Shapps has ruined the negotiations by not allowing Network Rail to withdraw its letter threatening to dismiss its 2,900 members.
“Unless the government shuts down network rail and train operating companies, it will not be possible to reach a negotiated settlement.
“We will continue our industrial campaign until we find a negotiated settlement that provides job security and increases the salaries of our members to deal with the rising cost of living. Works for. “
Mr Shepps countered that the RMT claim was a “lie”.
Meanwhile, members of the Aslif Drivers’ Union in Greater England went on strike on Thursday in a separate dispute over their salaries.
The company, which is also affected by the RMT strike, advised passengers to travel only if necessary.
The Transport Sailors Staff Association (TSSA) has announced that its members at Mercier have accepted the 7.1% salary offer.
General Secretary Manuel Courts said: “What this clearly shows is that our union, and the sister union, is by no means an obstacle to finding the solution we need to avoid a climate of dissatisfaction on the railways.
Rather, it is the government that intends to dig into its heels. It would be wise for the grant shops to start talking seriously to their union as we vote for industrial action on the land above and below our railways.
A spokesman for Rail Delivery Group said: “The number of passengers is still only 80 per cent pre-epidemic.
We urge the RMT leadership to keep talking so that we can secure a developing long-term future for the railways and its workforce.
“We can only achieve this by improving – such as offering better services on Sundays – reflecting the changing needs of passengers so that we can go further.”
“We urge the RMT leadership to keep talking so that we can secure a long-term future for the railways and its workforce.
“Our advice to passengers is the same – just travel by train if absolutely necessary, check before traveling, and make sure you know the time of your first and last train.”
A Network Rail spokesman said: “We are disappointed that RMT has once again chosen to withdraw from negotiations without agreeing to an agreement. We will do our best to avoid further disruption.
“As a result of this unnecessary and premature strike, train services will look like they did on Tuesday – starting in the morning and ending much earlier in the evening (approximately 6.30 pm).
“We are asking passengers to please check before traveling, keep track of when your last available train is departing, and only travel by train if necessary.”