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UK on alert amid upcoming rail strike actions

While disputes and strike actions are underway at the United Kingdom's major container ports, Liverpool and Felixstowe, supply chain challenges in the UK seem to continue with the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) announcing a 24-hour strike action.

In particular, railway workers on 15 train operating companies will take strike action on 1 October in a row over job security, pay and working conditions.

RMT said the one-day walkout, which is expected to cause significant disruptions in the UK railway network, comes after the union received no further offers from the rail industry to help come to a negotiated settlement.

In separate disputes, Arriva Rail London members, Hull Trains and bus workers at First Group Southwest will also take strike action on the same date. 1 October is set to see strikes by a number of unions in various industries.

RMT general secretary, Mick Lynch commented, "Transport workers are joining a wave of strike action on 1 October, sending a clear message to the government and employers that working people will not accept continued attacks on pay and working conditions at a time when big business profits are at an all-time high."

Lynch went on to point out, "The Summer of Solidarity we have seen will continue into the Autumn and Winter if employers and the government continue to refuse workers reasonable demands. We want a settlement to these disputes where our members and their families can get a square deal. And we will not rest until we get a satisfactory outcome."

The UK rail dispute will see strike action on Network Rail, Chiltern Railways, Cross Country Trains, Greater Anglia, LNER, East Midlands Railway, c2c, Great Western Railway, Northern Trains, South Eastern, South Western, RailwayTranspennine Express, Avanti West Coast, West Midlands Trains, and GTR (including Gatwick Express).

There will also be separate strikes on 1 October, involving First Bus South West (Somerset), First Bus South West (Kernow Cornwall), Arriva Rail London, Carlisle Support Services (Revenue Security Officers on the Arriva Rail London contract) and Hull Trains.

Meanwhile, train drivers will walk out for two further days of strike action, 1 and 5 October in another ongoing dispute over pay. Drivers previously took strike action on 30 July and 13 August.

Mick Whelan, general secretary of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF), UK's train drivers' union, commented, "We would much rather not be in this position. We don’t want to go on strike – withdrawing our labour, although a fundamental human right, is always a last resort for this trade union – but the train companies have been determined to force our hand."

Antonis Karamalegkos
Managing Editor

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