Rail Strikes: Walkouts continue into second day as talks fail again

In London, there are no strikes taking place on the Tube network today, though operator TFL has warned of disruption to some services, including the London Overground.

Passengers face another day of disruption today after talks between the RMT union and railway employers broke down yesterday.

The RMT accused transport secretary Grant Shapps of “wrecking negotiations” by refusing to allow Network Rail to withdraw redundancy threats.

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Shapps said the RMT claim was “a total lie”, while Network Rail claimed the union had walked away from talks.

The rail industry has asked passengers to only travel if necessary as 40,000 RMT members working for Network Rail and 13 train operating companies go on strike.

Thursday’s strike is set to have a similar impact as Tuesday’s, with just 20% of services running.

The rail industry has asked passengers to only travel if necessary as 40,000 RMT members working for Network Rail and 13 train operating companies go on strike.

In London, there are no strikes taking place on the Tube network today, though operator TFL has warned of disruption to some services, including the London Overground.

RMT leader Mick Lynch speaking outside union headquarters

Mick Lynch RMT general secretary said: "Grant Shapps has wrecked these negotiations by not allowing Network Rail to withdraw their letter threatening redundancy for 2,900 of our members.

"Until the government unshackles Network Rail and the train operating companies, it is not going to be possible for a negotiated settlement to be agreed.

"We will continue with our industrial campaign until we get a negotiated settlement that delivers job security and a pay rise for our members that deals with the escalating cost of living crisis."

Shapps responded: “This is a total lie from the RMT and its general secretary.

“I have had absolutely nothing to do with either the issuing of a letter from Network Rail, the employer, to the RMT – or any request to withdraw it.

“The RMT continues to deflect from the fact that the only people responsible for the massive public disruption this week are them.

“I want to urge Mick Lynch and his members to stop wasting time making false claims in the media and instead return to the negotiating table so an agreement can be reached.”

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We are disappointed that the RMT have again chosen to walk away from negotiations without agreeing a deal. We remain available for talks – day or night – and will do everything we can to avoid further disruption for our passengers.”