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UK train strikes begin as ONS data shows real wages fall 2.7% – live | Railway strikes

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He also had another unusual exchange with Richard Madeley, host of ITV’s Good Morning Britain, about the meaning of Christmas. (Lynch and Madeley have precedents — Lynch in June said the presenter came up with “the most remarkable twaddle.”)

Julia Kollewe

Julia Kollewe

As strikes by RMT members at Network Rail and 14 rail operators have begun, only around a fifth of rail services are expected to run nationwide on those days.

Trains will run between 7.30am and 6.30pm with a reduced service on main intercity and city lines, with no trains in much of rural England, Scotland and Wales.

Network Rail has warned that the first trains will leave later and the last trains will leave much earlier. Disruptions are also to be expected the morning after each strike.

transport secretary Mark Harper said people were facing another Covid-style “virtual Christmas” following the rail strikes. He told GB News the pay offer for railway workers was “in line with the type of pay rises that take place in the private sector”.

Harper said:

These rail strikes are going to force some families to have another virtual Christmas and I think it’s terrible when the unions have had a very reasonable wage offer.

TUC leader: ‘Pay more to help the UK through the recession’

Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, said the government should negotiate with the unions.
Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, said the government should negotiate with the unions. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady has said the government should negotiate “fair pay rises” with unions as the UK braces for the economic downturn.

Britain’s economy returned to growth in October following the additional bank holiday for the Queen’s funeral the previous month. However, the government and many economists expect a difficult year ahead. The consensus among the 15 forecasts compiled by the government predicts a drop in GDP of 0.8% next year.

O’Grady said:

2022 was the worst year for real wage growth in nearly half a century. We are now on the brink of a damaging recession with the threat of a million lost jobs.

Ministers must act now to put money in people’s pockets – starting with raising the minimum wage and giving our public sector workers a cost-of-living pay rise.

And the Prime Minister should stop attacking workers who try to defend their wages and sit down to negotiate fair wage increases with the unions.

Across Britain’s railways, today’s strike is the first day of eight days of disruption expected over the next four weeks.

In practice, disruptions usually carry over to subsequent days as well, as trains are often not in the right places when workers return.

The strike dates for the railways are:

  • Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 December 2022

  • Friday 16 and Saturday 17 December 2022

  • Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 January 2023

  • Friday 6 and Saturday 7 January 2023

UK strike schedule: nurses, postal and transport workers must take further action

The train strikes which begin today will be just the first day of planned disruptions on Britain’s railways. And the railway workers are not the only ones to act: major strikes are planned every day this month.

Nurses, paramedics, Royal Mail workers and large chunks of the civil service will strike for higher pay this month alone.

Here is the full schedule: