Union boss hints rail workers could strike for WEEKS leading to power cuts

The general secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers suggested strike action could last for weeks, causing huge disruption across the UK. The union has threatened to stage a mass staff walkout of rail services over an ongoing dispute surrounding freezes to pay and working conditions. Mick Lynch warned the union members were prepared to strike for as long as necessary until the demands of the workers were met by rail corporations. Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sky News, he revealed the strikes could affect the nation’s power supply as energy stockpiles could not cope with lengthy worker absences.

Mr Lynch said: “If there is strike action, then it is up to the Government to give a mandate to the companies so they can settle this dispute” 

Host Sophy Ridge asked: “How long could the strikes be?”

The RMT general secretary responded: “They could go on for a very, very long time.

“There is no sign at the moment that anybody is backing down on their side of the table.”

Ms Ridge continued: “Does that mean days? Weeks?” 

Mr Lynch said: “We’ll decide that as we go, we want to make the strike action, if it happens, as effective as possible from our point of view.” 

Mr Ridge clarified: “You are prepared to strike for long enough that it could affect the power supply if you don’t have your demands met?”

The RMT general secretary replied: “Our members are prepared to take effective strike action in pursuit of a settlement of this dispute.

“I’ve got no idea how that will take and I can’t determine from here what the outcomes and side effects of that will be.”

Read more: Rail shirkers should have pay stopped, says Jill Rey

The strike action has been proposed for June, though the union is yet to announce specific dates or a determined length of the staff walkout.

RMt had proposed a tube staff strike for the 3rd June, intruding upon the bank holiday weekend for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, but have now suspended the action following “significant progress” in negotiations.

However, the union has announced a tube strike is also set to take place on the 6th June, following the bank holiday weekend, in response to 600 threatened job losses.

Mr Lynch pressured the Government to act as he said: “Instead of seeking to cut jobs, TfL and Mayor Sadiq Khan need to put further pressure on the government to secure increased funding for the network so we can have a properly staffed modern 21st century tube.”

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