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London commuters hit with fresh strike misery amid national rail walk out


London commuters hit with fresh strike misery amid national rail walk out


ondon commuters face fresh strike misery on Thursday as workers from 14 companies walk out.

The latest action by members of the RMT union affects many services used by commuters and comes as Tube services are still disrupted from Wednesday’s strike.

All London Underground Tube lines were suspended until 7.30am Thursday morning after separate strikes on Wednesday.

Passengers are being warned to expect widespread disruption, with similar future strike dates on Saturday, Thursday March 30 and Saturday April 1.

Among the affected services will be those heavily relied upon by London commuters such as those run by Southern, Southeastern, Southwestern Railway and Thameslink.

Trains that do run will start later and finish much earlier than usual, typically between 7.30am and 6.30pm.

Nationally between 40-50 per cent of train services will run, but there will be wide variations across the network, with no services at all in some areas.

Steve Montgomery, who chairs the Rail Delivery Group, said: “This latest round of strikes will be a further inconvenience to our customers, who have already experienced months of disruption, and cost our people even more money at a time they can least afford it.

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT), joins union members on the picket line outside Euston station in London during a rail strike in a long-running dispute over jobs and pensions

/ PA

“They will also be asking why the RMT leadership blocked the chance to resolve this dispute by refusing to give their members – many of whom would have benefited from a 13% increase – a say on their own deal.

“Unfortunately, while we will pull out all the stops to keep as many trains running as possible, there will be reduced services across many parts of the rail network on all four strike days, so our advice is to check before you travel.”

But RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “Rail employers are not being given a fresh mandate by the Government to offer our members a new deal on pay, conditions and job security.

“Therefore, our members will now take sustained and targeted industrial action over the next few months. The Government can settle this dispute easily by unshackling the rail companies.

“However, its stubborn refusal to do so will now mean more strike action across the railway network and a very disruptive overtime ban.”

A Department for Transport spokesperson urged the union to put the industry’s “very fair offer” to its members.

Teachers in England and university staff will also be on strike in a continuation of Wednesday’s action.

Up to half a million teachers, lecturers, junior doctors, civil servants, London Underground drivers, BBC journalists and Amazon employees stopped work on Budget day.

Union officials at a rally in London attended by tens of thousands of strikers and supporters said the strike sent a strong message to the Government over its handling of the disputes.

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