National Rail Strike Risks Jeopardising Hospitality Sector Recovery

Rail union RMT is to launch 3 days of national strike action across the railway network.

Over 50,000 railway workers will walkout as part of 3 days of national strike action later this month, in the biggest dispute on the network since 1989.
The union will shut down the country’s railway network on 21st, 23rd and 25th June, due to the inability of the rail employers to come to a negotiated settlement with RMT.

In a separate dispute over pensions and job losses, London Underground RMT members will take strike action on June 21st.

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 11.1pc and rising.

“Our union will now embark on a sustained campaign of industrial action which will shut down the railway system.

“Rail companies are making at least £500m a year in profits, whilst fat cat rail bosses have been paid millions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This unfairness is fuelling our members anger and their determination to win a fair settlement.

Last month when the union voted on strike action UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls warned that the strike risked jeopardising the hospitality sector’s recovery when she said:

“A national rail strike would further jeopardise hospitality businesses working hard to rebuild following the pandemic, in the face of rising costs and a fall in consumer confidence.

“Trains are essential across the country for the safe transport of staff and customers. A lack of commuter trains bringing people into towns and cities will further set back the recovery of our high streets and will also deter people from going out in the evening – especially women and vulnerable people who may rely on trains to get them home and feel safe late at night.

“Furthermore, as we come into the crucial summer months, disruption on the rail network will discourage both UK and international tourism – we are already hearing reports from Scotland of cancelled hotel bookings due to the dispute between Aslef and Scotrail there.

“Strikes would inevitably damage our already fragile hospitality businesses, which would have a negative knock-on effect to the wider UK economy.”