The largest strike to affect the national railway network in decades will take place later this month, as 40,000 RMT union members walk out on strike.
This is the largest rail strike since July 1989.
The union says that it will hold 24-hour strikes on Tuesday 21st, Thursday 23rd and Saturday 25th June.
It’s also likely that there will be widespread disruption on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, as trains and staff will be in the wrong locations the day after the strike.
In effect, it’s six days of disruption on the national railways.
In total, 71% of 40,000 RMT members on the national railway took part in the vote, with 89% voting in favour of strike action and 11% voting against.
The strike will affect Network Rail and 13 train operating companies.
- Avanti West Coast
- Chiltern Railways
- East Midlands Railway
- Greater Anglia
- South Western Railway
- TransPennine Express
- West Midlands Trains (inc London Northwestern Railway)
There won’t be a strike on GTR – which operates Southern, Thameslink, Gatwick Express and Great Northern services as the 50% threshold of cast ballots wasn’t reached. In addition, Transport for Wales and ScotRail were not included in the RMT ballot.
Although the GTR staff aren’t striking, as National Rail staff, including the signalling staff will walk out, GTR services are still expected to be badly hit by the strike.
However, the best estimate is that non-RMT staff and management at Network Rail may be able to keep at best 20% of the railways running for those trains that can then run over the tracks.
RMT says that it is in dispute over wages and potential redundancies on the national rail network, and the RMT’s general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Our union will now embark on a sustained campaign of industrial action which will shut down the railway system.”
There will also be a separate RMT tube strike on the London Underground on Tuesday 21st June, affecting the tube network in pretty much the same way it did earlier this week.
UPDATE: Around 1,000 members of Unite union will also go on strike on Tuesday 21st June. This is a wider action than the RMT tube strike which affects only station staff, as the Unite union covers people who are employed at London Underground, Compliance, Policing, Operations & Security (CPOS), Victoria Coach Station, Network Management Control Centre (NMCC), Croydon Trams engineering and Surface Operations.