Rail strikes will halt government's back to work push says Pierce
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Strikes are set to paralyze national rail next week with members of the RMT trade union set to mount a walkout over pay and conditions. LBC host Andrew Pierce has attacked the timing of the strike action and likened the RMT to “turkeys voting for Christmas.”
Mr Pierce told LBC: “Train drivers are paid very well, they are paid around £60,000 a year but some of those involved in this strike are paid a lot less.
“But what I don’t get about this, the timing of this coming after Covid, the pandemic when the volume of passengers on trains slumped and it is 20 to 25 percent below pre-pandemic levels.
“At the same time, the rail industry was given £16 billion pounds by the taxpayer during that pandemic and by going on strike they are going to deny a lot of people the chance to get to work, people of zero-hours contracts like that guy we heard who will have to take two days.
“But it also means the whole push by the Government to get people back to work will be halted by this and a lot of people will decide you know what I’m never going to go back to work.”
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“Which means there will be even less demand for these trains,” he continued.
“So these are turkeys voting for Christmas.
“Because it is going to have a detrimental impact on the service and on their jobs, and they are also seeking an 11.1 percent pay rise.
“An astonishing amount of money.”
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Dominic Raab has condemned the forthcoming rail strikes as “irresponsible” as the Deputy Prime Minister looked to cast the Conservatives as the only party standing up for commuters.
He told LBC: “I think the strike action by the RMT union is deeply irresponsible.
“Of course, we need to look again at the structure of our railways. We’ve provided a huge subsidy to see them through the pandemic and, as working and commuter habits change, of course, we’ve got to look at that sensibly.
“For my part as a constituency MP, I want to stand up for commuters and rail passengers.
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“I’m shocked that Labour have been so openly backing the RMT, and, frankly, the Liberal Democrats have been, as usual, lily-livered on the subject, and have not been clear.
“The only ones that are saying ‘This is wrong and we stand up for the public’ are the Conservatives.”
Members of RMT at Network Rail and 13 train operators are to strike on June 21, 23, and 25 in similar disputes, which will cause huge disruption to services.
The RMT and Unite are also striking on London Underground on June 21 in a separate row over jobs and pay.
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