Sheffield train strike: More walkouts by railway staff across two days this August announced by RMT

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Railway staff have announced they will strike for another two days this summer in a worsening dispute over jobs, pay and conditions.

Will my train from Sheffield be affected by strike action?

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at Network Rail and 14 train operators will walk out on August 18 and 20.

It comes as the union is also set to walk out on July 27 – the day before the Commonwealth Games opens in Birmingham – as well as a train drivers strike on July 30.

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An almost empty Sheffield railway station hit by the rail strikes in June.An almost empty Sheffield railway station hit by the rail strikes in June.
An almost empty Sheffield railway station hit by the rail strikes in June.

Railway providers for Sheffield are yet to publish a revised timetable for when any of their services will run on these days.

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Why are railway staff on strike?

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "The rail industry and the Government need to understand that this dispute will not simply vanish.

Sheffield Railway Station.Sheffield Railway Station.
Sheffield Railway Station.

"They need to get serious about providing an offer on pay which helps deal with the cost-of-living crisis, job security for our members and provides good conditions at work.”

A previous strike by the RMT in mid June effectively cut back the number of trains running by 80 per cent across three days.

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Now, this is likely to happen again as talks between the RMT and rail bosses remain strained.

Mr Lynch continued: "Recent proposals from Network Rail fell well short on pay and on safety around maintenance work.

"And the train operating companies have not even made us a pay offer in recent negotiations.

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"Now [Transport Secretary] Grant Shapps has abandoned his forlorn hopes for the job of prime minister, he can now get back to his day job and help sort this mess out.

"We remain open for talks, but we will continue our campaign until we reach a negotiated settlement."

Andrew Haines, chief executive of Network Rail, said: "By announcing even more strike dates, the RMT has dropped any pretence that this is about reaching a deal.

"It's clear the best interests of passengers and our staff are taking second place to the union's bosses' political campaign."

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The companies involved in the RMT strikes are: Network Rail, Chiltern Railways, Cross Country Trains, Greater Anglia, LNER, East Midlands Railway, c2c, Great Western Railway, Northern Trains, South Eastern, South Western Railway, Transpennine Express, Avanti West Coast, West Midlands Trains and GTR (including Gatwick Express).

The drivers' union Aslef earlier announced its members at eight train companies will strike on July 30 in the same dispute.

A spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group said: "This is a hugely disappointing announcement from the RMT's leadership which will upset passengers' summer plans, undermine struggling businesses and upend the industry's recovery.

"Rather than staging counterproductive strikes, we ask the RMT's leadership to continue talking so we can come to a deal that works for our people, our passengers and for taxpayers."

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A Department for Transport spokesperson said: "As the Secretary of State said only yesterday, recent talks have merely been for show while the RMT have been planning how best to create further misery for passengers across the UK.

"These strikes will be a kick in the teeth for millions of people who stumped up £600 per household to keep the railway running throughout the pandemic.”

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