Passengers face disruption as UK rail workers strike again

Staff at 14 train operators will walk out on Saturday

Rail workers went on strike on Thursday and more stoppages are planned on March 30 and April 1. EPA
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Passengers will face cancelled and delayed trains on Saturday as rail workers across the network walk out for the latest day of strike action in a long-running fight over pay and conditions.

Football fans and families travelling for pleasure are expected to have to find alternative means of travel.

Between 40 and 50 per cent of trains nationally are expected to run, but there will be wide variations across the network, with no services at all in some areas.

The UK has seen months of strikes over pay across a number of sectors, including health care, airports and education, as the cost-of-living crisis leads inflation past 10 per cent.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union at 14 train operators will walk out again on Saturday.

RMT members were also on strike on Thursday and more stoppages are planned for March 30 and April 1.

“The private rail companies are in complete chaos, unable to make an improved offer to resolve our dispute and demonstrably failing to run the railways when we’re not on strike,” union general secretary Mick Lynch said.

“FirstGroup in particular is like an out-of-control wrecking ball, only fit to make money for its City bosses.

“Avanti and TransPennine Express are both an abject disgrace but their owners made £90 million out of the railways in dividends over the last two years despite running appalling levels of service.

“The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) need to sort themselves out and settle our dispute with an improved offer and then the Government needs to nationalise both Avanti and TransPennine Express.

“They are incapable of providing a decent service to passengers and the sooner they are brought into public ownership the better.”

The RMT said that more than 20,000 workers will be taking strike action.

Passengers were warned to check before travelling on Saturday. Services may also be disrupted on Sunday morning as much of the rolling stock will not be in the right depots.

“This latest round of strikes will be a further inconvenience to our customers, who have already experienced months of disruption, and cost our people even more money at a time they can least afford it,” said Steve Montgomery, of the RDG.

“They will also be asking why the RMT leadership blocked the chance to resolve this dispute by refusing to give their members — many of whom would have benefited from a 13 per cent increase — a say on their own deal.

“Unfortunately, while we will pull out all the stops to keep as many trains running as possible, there will be reduced services across many parts of the rail network on strike days, so our advice is to check before you travel.”

Earlier this week, train drivers, junior doctors, teachers, civil servants and London Underground workers walked out as part of continuing, different protests over pay.

On Thursday, unions representing more than 1,000 passport office workers said they would go on strike for five weeks before the summer travel season.

Security staff at London's Heathrow Airport will strike for 10 days during the busy Easter bank holiday period.

The strike involves security guards employed at Terminal Five, which is used exclusively by British Airways, and campus security guards who are responsible for checking all cargo that enters the airport.

Junior doctors' leaders on Friday became the latest union to agree to suspend industrial action and accept an offer of pay talks with the Government.

The Department of Health said the British Medical Association had agreed to enter negotiations on the same terms as unions representing nurses, ambulance staff and other NHS workers in talks, which concluded this week.

Nurses have suspended further planned strikes after a revised pay offer from managers.

Updated: March 18, 2023, 4:18 AM