New rail strikes announced by TSSA: confirmed dates; which companies are striking and will it affect London
The walkout could happen in September, months after the RMT, fronted by Mick Lynch staged the biggest strike in three decades
The staff are set to walkout in a dispute regarding pay and working conditions.
The news of yet another strike comes just months after the biggest UK rail strike in three decades, where 40,000 RMT members walked out in June, sparking a number of strikes in the country.
When are the strike dates?
If an agreement can not be reached between the government and the union the strike dates will commence on 26 and 27 September.
What has the TSSA boss said?
The TSSA boss, Manuel Cortes, said the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps was “getting in the way” of real progress, saying: “The dead hand of Grant Shapps is sadly stopping DfT train operating companies from making a revised, meaningful offer.
“Frankly, he either sits across the negotiating table with our union or gets out of the way to allow railway bosses to freely negotiate with us, as they have done in the past.”
Cortes, on a statement released on the official TSSA website continued to say: “The reason for the current impasse lies squarely at Shapps’ door and passengers are paying a high price for his incompetence and intransigence.
"I welcome the fact that negotiations are ongoing with Network Rail and the gap towards a resolution is narrowing. Time will tell whether a deal can be done to avert our next strike.
"I will be standing on our picket line in Liverpool and will be encouraging fellow delegates and Labour MPs to do likewise, so they can rightly show they stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those fighting the Tories’ cost of living crisis."
A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We agreed a deal on pay and modernisation with some TSSA members a few weeks ago, and as the union has said, we’re making good progress in talks with the rest of their membership.
“We’ll continue to meet with the TSSA over the coming days and weeks, and encourage them to continue working with us to find a breakthrough and avert strike action on 26 September.”
A spokesperson for the DfT said: “For the eighth time this summer, union leaders are choosing self-defeating strike action over constructive talks, not only disrupting the lives of millions who rely on these services but jeopardising the future of the railways and their own members’ livelihoods. “These reforms deliver the modernisations our rail network urgently needs, are essential to the future of rail, and will happen. Strikes will not change this.”
Which companies are involved in the strike?
The train companies likely to be involved in the strike, if it goes ahead as planned are Avanti West Coast, c2c, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Great Western Railway, LNER and Southeastern.
The TSSA said that these companies will be ‘at the centre of the strike’ in September along with Network Rail.
TransPennine and West Midlands have voted in favour of strike action, but as of writing, will not be taking part in the TSSA September strikes.