Shapps accuses union of ‘punishing’ the public with crippling rail strikes

The Transportation Secretary, Grant Shapps, has accused the nation’s largest rail union of punishing millions of innocent people, as it confirmed it would proceed with a series of serious attacks.

He said the traveling public had to face a week of misery as the RMT Rail, Maritime and Transport Union refused repeated appeals to call off its action, due to begin on Tuesday. But Labor accused Transport Secretary and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of deliberately “setting gasoline on fire” because they wanted the country to “stop” stirring up political divisions.

On Saturday, the RMT confirmed that the strike on Network Rail and 13 train operators would go ahead on Tuesday, Thursday and the following Saturday, and on the London Underground on Tuesday. Secretary-General Mick Lynch said: “Despite the best efforts of our negotiators, there has been no viable resolution of the disputes.”

Grant Shapps: ‘RMT is punishing millions of innocent people by carrying out this action’
(image: PA)

Mr Shapps said patients would be forced to cancel hospital appointments, workers would lose pay because they could not go to work, and students taking exams would be forced to change their travel plans because of the action. You will have to face the distraction. “Sadly, they have repeatedly ignored these requests, and now we are on the verge of major disruption, which will cause trouble to people across the country,” he said. “By taking this action, the RMT is punishing millions of innocent people, rather than let us peacefully discuss the necessary and necessary reforms to protect our rail network.”

However, in a speech at the Labor Local Government Association conference in Warwick on Sunday, Sir Keir Starmer will claim Mr Johnson and Mr Shapps want the strikes to go ahead with their political objectives. “They want the country to come to a standstill so that they can feed the partition. Instead of spending their time at the negotiating table this week, they are preparing attack ads,” he would say. “Instead of talking adults to take the heat out of the situation, they are pouring petrol on the fire. Instead of bringing people together in the interest of the nation, they are promoting division in their political interest.”

Mick Lynch: 'The Rmt Can'T Be Inactive In The Face Of This Massive Attack On Our People'
Mick Lynch: ‘The RMT can’t be inactive in the face of this massive attack on our people’
(image: PA)

Actions by thousands of railway workers, in dispute over job losses and union demands for wage hikes that keep pace with inflation, will paralyze services for most of the week. Mr Lynch said thousands of jobs were being cut across the rail network and workers were facing inflation-less wage growth. “It must be said that the source of these disputes is the decision by the Tory government to cut £4 billion from our transport systems – £2 billion from National Rail and £2 billion from Transport for London,” he said. “The RMT cannot be inactive in the face of this massive attack on our people.”

Network Rail chief negotiator Tim Schowler expressed surprise that RMT was rejecting talks “before we are finished” with further discussions planned for Sunday. “I’m serious about finding a solution and trying to work out a compromise that gives our people a decent wage increase, but that should be affordable for taxpayers and rent payers,” he said.

“Our proposals have been rejected so far, Sangh’s demand is far from being cheap. We will continue to talk and try and find a way to avoid this unnecessary and harmful strike.”

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