The RMT union has confirmed that the biggest rail strikes in 30 years will go ahead this week after a final round of talks failed to resolve a dispute over pay, jobs and conditions,
RMT said train operators have now made an offer and there is no further offer from Network Rail following the one which was rejected last Friday.
Speaking outside the RMT headquarters on Monday, union leader Mick Lynch said: “The dead hand of this Tory government is all over this dispute and the fingerprints of Grant Shapps and the DNA of Rishi Sunak are all over the problems on the railway and the problems in our society.
“Until they allow these employers to negotiate freely, I can’t see that we’re going to get a settlement on the issues that are in front of us.”
Meanwhile, transport secretary Grant Shapps has denied that he is “the problem” in relation to rail strikes and called for the unions to sit down with employers.
Mr Shapps said about 20% of services were expected to run during the strikes on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, with the focus on key workers, main population centres and critical freight routes.
When is strike action due to start?
The strikes will take place on Tuesday June 21, Thursday June 23 and Saturday June 25.
Services are expected to be affected from Monday evening, with disruption continuing on non-strike days.
On June 21, there is also likely to be a Tube strike, which will cripple the entire London Underground network.
With such large industrial action, services can take much of the next morning to get back to a full schedule.
Which rail companies are affected?
RMT balloted over 40,000 members in Network Rail and the train operating companies, with 89% voting in favour of strike action.
The following companies - which run through London - voted for strike action, and will likely not be running services on strike days:
- Network Rail
- Chiltern Railways
- Cross Country Trains
- Greater Anglia
- East Midlands Railway
- Great Western Railway
- South Eastern
- South Western Railway
- Avanti West Coast
- West Midlands trains
Govia Thameslink Railway - which includes Southern and the Gatwick Express - and Great Northern voted only for action short of a strike.
National Rail said there will be a very limited service running on the rail network during strike days and to only travel by train if necessary.
Commuters should expect severe disruption and plan ahead to make sure your entire journey is possible.
The UK could also see a series of rail strikes over the next couple of months if a deal is not reached..
Mick Lynch said: “Our campaign will run as long as it needs to run until we get a settlement acceptable to our people.
“Whenever we get an offer that is tenable we will put that to our members in a referendum.”
What is RMT saying?
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "Every worker in Britain deserves a pay rise that reflects the cost-of-living crises.
"All working people should have the benefit of good negotiated terms, conditions, working practices and occupational pensions that will ensure their living standards in retirement.
"We call on the entire labour movement and the working people to rally to the support of the RMT and our members in this struggle.
"The RMT will support every group of workers who organise and fight for these aims and we call for joint campaigning and coordinated action to achieve a better deal for workers and a fairer society.
"RMT remains available for discussions that will settle this dispute and ensure our transport system can operate without disruption."
What is Transport for London (TfL) saying?
Transport for London (TfL) is strongly encouraging people not to travel on Tuesday June 21 and until mid-morning on Wednesday June 22, unless absolutely necessary, due to planned industrial action being taken by the RMT and Unite unions.
Andy Lord, TfL’s chief operating officer, said: “I want to apologise to our customers for the impact these strikes will have on their journeys and urge people to avoid travel on all TfL services on June 21 unless absolutely necessary.
“If they are travelling, they must complete journeys by 6pm, and expect disruption across the network.
“Walking and cycling is likely to be the best way to get around during this action.
“The strike on the London Underground has been timed by the RMT and Unite unions to cause maximum disruption to our millions of customers by coinciding with strike action on national rail services.
“Additional strikes on national rail services next week will also have an impact on London Underground, Overground and Elizabeth line services because of shared track and assets.
“TfL customers are therefore advised to plan ahead and leave more time for their journeys next week.
"This strike is particularly frustrating as it comes so soon after industrial action earlier this month, no changes have been proposed to pensions and nobody has or will lose their job as a result of the proposals we have set out.
“We’re urging the RMT and Unite to call off this strike – my message to them is that it’s not too late to work with us to find a resolution and avoid the huge disruption this action will cause."
What is the Department for Transport saying?
The Department for Transport said strikes should always be the last resort not the first.
A spokesperson said: "It is hugely disappointing and premature that the RMT is calling for industrial action before even entering discussions."
What is Network Rail saying?
Andrew Haines, Network Rail’s chief executive, said: "No strike is inevitable until the moment it begins, but sadly disruption tomorrow is guaranteed so we’re asking passengers to plan ahead and only travel by train if necessary."