Further Rail Strikes “Catastrophic” Warns Sector Body

Further rail strikes will have a “catastrophic” impact on the hospitality industry after late-night venues suffered a 40% drop in trade during previous industrial action, a trade body has warned.

Train drivers’ union Aslef announced on Thursday (14 July) that drivers from eight companies will strike on Saturday, 30 July, in a dispute over pay, and follows a warning from the RMT, which covers workers such as guards and signalling staff, who have said it would strike on Wednesday, 27 July.

June’s rail strikes involving thousands of train operator and National Rail workers, had a damaging to a sector already reeling from inflation, staffing issues and falling footfall.

The night-time economy in particular relies heavily on the rail network to bring audiences and staff safely to and from its venues, according to the NTIA.

“Our industry is suffering heavily from rising costs as inflation reaches a high, with most reporting an estimated loss of up to 40% in trade from previous strike activity,” said chief executive Michael Kill. “We must come together to support a recovery we can all benefit from, any consideration of long-term strike action would be catastrophic. Sporadic weekly or daily planned strike action is eating into consumer confidence and will lead to an irreparable loss of business and jobs, after so much hard work has been put into recovery in the last 12 months. Our sector is at a critical point in building to pre covid business levels, as we embark on one of the most important summer festival seasons.”