This weekend, members of ASLEF and the RMT union will walk out yet again, and Rishi Sunak’s Government are not even close to meeting their demands regarding pay and working conditions.
Rail strikes inevitably cause disruption, that is their sole purpose. However, despite this disruption, the Government refuse to meet the demands that are being put in front of them.
This weekend, workers from the RMT Union and ASLEF will strike on Friday and most notably Saturday which is the day of the FA Cup final, when many fans will be travelling down to London (especially from Manchester).
In a statement, the ASLEF said: “We have been negotiating for many months on pay.
“Unfortunately a number of companies still have their hands tied by the Department for Transport and aren’t able to negotiate a reasonable deal with ASLEF members. We are still prepared to negotiate in good faith but, unfortunately, as we have been unable to come to an agreement, we have had to consider industrial action.”
Rail strikes have been some of the most disruptive industrial actions taking place in recent months, as many people have struggled to commute to work or travel at weekends. So why aren’t the government acting?
Speaking to the BBC, a Department for Transport spokesperson said: “The government has facilitated a fair and reasonable pay offer, now union leaders must do the right thing and put this to their members.”
But, putting the burden on the unions isn’t going to work. The offer which is apparently “fair and reasonable” clearly isn’t, because the unions would have accepted it if it were.
The disruption that will be caused by strikes will just have people waiting as long for a train as they do on an NHS waiting list.
Our message to Rishi: SORT IT OUT.
However, the government’s response is simply the opposite with crackdowns on our democratic rights, including in the introduction of the Public Order Act last month.
The transport sector has been the hardest hit by strikes in recent months compared to the other striking sectors which include healthcare, education and postal services.