Rail workers, Border Force staff and driving examiners resume strike action | UK News
Rail workers, Border Force staff and driving examiners are resuming strike action today, with commuters warned of serious delays as they return to work.
It comes after a day of travel chaos despite a rail strike by the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers’ Union (RMT) coming to an end, with crowds of people left waiting at major train stations across London and many journeys delayed due to the late handover of engineering works.
Here is a list of those striking today:
• Members of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) at Great Western Railway will walk out from noon to 11.59am on Thursday
• West Midlands Trains will strike for 24 hours from noon until the same time on Thursday
• Driving examiners from the Public and Commerical services (PCS) union at 71 test centres will launch a five-day strike
• Border Force officers at the same union will begin a four-day strike at six airports
Rail unions have launched strike action over a dispute with the government and rail companies about pay, job cuts and changes to terms and conditions, saying they should be given a pay offer to reflect the rising cost of living.
West Midlands Trains said that none of its services would be running from Wednesday morning as a result of the TSSA strike.
TSSA organising director Nadine Rae said its members are “sick and tired of being taken for granted” and “deserve a pay rise to manage the escalating cost of living”.
“The company, like all the train operators under the control of the Department for Transport, need to face up to the fact that only serious offers which meet our aspirations will end this dispute,” she said.
‘Put some money on the table’
Network Rail has told passengers to prepare for “significantly disrupted” travel into the new year amid the wave of industrial unrest.
At the same time, driving instructors, who are part of the PCS union and employed by the Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency, will walk out of test centres across eastern England and the Midlands.
They are set to return to work on 1 January.
“Our members have been offered a pay rise of just 2% at a time when the cost-of-living crisis is above 10%,” PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said.
“These strikes could be called off tomorrow if Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt put some money on the table.”
Border Force officers at Gatwick, Heathrow, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester and Glasgow airports and the port of Newhaven will resume strikes in the same dispute, and will return to work on New Year’s Eve.
Unions trying to find ways to stage more strikes
Meanwhile, unions are looking at ways to stage further strikes by splitting ballots by job titles rather than holding a single vote, according to reports.
The i newspaper reported that the TSSA is poised to let different sections of its membership vote at different times in order to carry out multiple walkouts per week.
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The Department for Transport has described the reports as “incredibly disappointing” and urged unions to “step back, reconsider and get back around the table”.
“After two years of virtual Christmases, the British public deserve better than to have their festive celebrations impacted by strikes,” a spokesman said.
“The transport secretary and rail minister have worked hard to facilitate a fair and reasonable offer, which two unions have accepted, and it is incredibly disappointing that some continue to strike.”