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
  • c2c
  • Chiltern Railways
  • CrossCountry
  • East Midlands Railway
  • Greater Anglia
  • GWR
  • LNER
  • Northern
  • Southeastern
  • 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.

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Article last updated: 8 June 2022 17:00

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10 comments
  1. LMonroe says:

    These lazy shirkers are going to strike anyway. Why not take this opportunity to genuinely decimate the overly generous pay and conditions?

    • Julian says:

      Because then you will condemn the railway to perpetual staff shortages and inability to attract the right people. It’s bad enough already doing a job which involves unsocial hours, while people consider you to be a lazy shirker.

    • Twickbait1 says:

      Lazy shirkers – I’d love to see doing their work, at all hours of the day and in sometimes dangerous conditions. What a disgraceful attitude to take. Or perhaps you’d think it right to dumb everybody’s wages (apart from your own presumably) and have everyone on minimum wage or less? Appalling and disgraceful. This is not a place for such extreme and anti-progressive views anyway, it’s a place for information and interest…

    • Matt Sayer says:

      Another enthusiast who hates the actual people who makes transport go…

  2. Nick says:

    What about MTR-Elizabeth? If that is not affected like Thameslink, then there will remain useful cross-London links in the central area. Farringdon will be busy!

  3. David Smith says:

    I dont think of them as lazy shirkers but I do think this is an appalling action by people doing a moderately skilled job in comfortable conditions being rewarded with a pay and benefits package that most definitely doesn’t warrant action or rhetoric at this level .

    • Matt Sawyer says:

      You know every single role at Network Rail, and every single pay level and T&C for every role? Amazing!

  4. Steve says:

    I think the trains should all be automated like the DLR and Victoria Line. Would put an end to these non stop strikes every year.

    • ianVisits says:

      This is the largest rail strike since July 1989 – so hardly a case of, as you put it, “non stop strikes every year”.

    • Matt Sawyer says:

      When was last year’s National strike?

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