A major walkout of train staff across the UK travel network is scheduled to go ahead later this month. More than 50,000 rail staff are expected to walk out on June 21, June 23, and June 25 in the biggest industrial action for more than three decades.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union members will “shut down the rail system” across 13 rail companies in England, Scotland and Wales in June, causing mayhem for millions of summer plans.
It is not known exactly how many services will be cancelled, or if trains will only be running for part of the day just yet, as the strikes may not go ahead if an agreement can be made between the RMT and rail companies.
However, it is currently predicted that fewer than one in five trains could run, with services potentially restricted to between 7am and 7pm, and only on main lines.
Talks between Network Rail (NR) and the union are expected to be held in the next few days, sources told the PA news agency.
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How much do train drivers earn?
The salary for a train driver depends on which company they work for but according to Glassdoor, the average pay for a train driver is £54,000 per year.
This equates to around £3,334 per month after Income Tax and National Insurance.
However, drivers can record anywhere between an average of £39,000 per year or as high as £75,000 in some rare instances.
Why are train drivers striking?
The strikes in June are not just for train drivers, but staff across Britain’s rail network that are part of the RMT union.
A dispute over job cuts is the main reason for the strike, but staff have also raised concerns over railway staff who worked throughout the pandemic are facing pay freezes and attacks on their employment conditions.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Railway workers have been treated appallingly and, despite our best efforts in negotiations, the rail industry, with the support of the Government, has failed to take their concerns seriously.
“We have a cost-of-living crisis, and it is unacceptable for railway workers to either lose their jobs or face another year of a pay freeze when inflation is at 11.1 percent and rising.
“Our union will now embark on a sustained campaign of industrial action which will shut down the railway system.”
The strikes will coincide with two crucial by-elections as well as events such as Glastonbury Festival and concerts in Hyde Park featuring the likes of Sir Elton John and the Rolling Stones.
There will also be a Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London on June 24 and 25 and it is Armed Forces Day on June 25.