October rail strikes: Thousands more workers to walk out next month as long-running dispute continues | UK news

Thousands more rail workers will strike next month as a long-running dispute over pay and conditions continues to cause industrial unrest across the country.

The Transport Salaried Personnel Association (TSSA) has announced that thousands of its workers and several train operators will walk out on 1 October.

The statement came shortly after Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng told MPs that the government plans to stop “militant” unions from shutting down the transport system.

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On the same day, members of the Rail, Shipping and Transport Union (RMT) and Aslef are also on strike, risking a complete shutdown of the UK rail system on the day before the London Marathon and the start of the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.

Stops are also maintained 5, 6 and 8 Octoberwhich will include exits from staff working at ticket offices, stations and control rooms as well.

The RMT said the October 8 strike would affect its Network Rail members and 15 train operators.

Unite said its members who work in Network Rail’s electrical control rooms will also take part in strikes on October 1, 5 and 8.

Following the Queen’s death on 8 September, the TSSA canceled strike dates planned for the month of September.

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What are the railway workers asking for?

“They prove their worth time and time again”

The union demanded a guarantee of non-compulsory redundancies, a pay rise to tackle the cost of living crisis and no changes to terms and conditions that have not been pre-agreed.

Secretary General Manuel Cortes said: “We do not take this action lightly. We would prefer to find a fair, negotiated solution to this now long-running dispute, but we simply have no other choice.

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“Our members have recently stepped up to the plate again and gone above and beyond to meet the unprecedented demand during the period of public mourning to provide additional services and keep the public safe, just as they did during the pandemic.

“They have proven their worth time and time again and yet are still undervalued. It is time for train operators to come round the table with us and come up with fair solutions.”

Rail is just one sector affected by strikes this year, with Royal Mail workers, dock workers, lawyers and BT employees also taking industrial action.

On Friday, Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced the government would “legislate” to require unions to put pay offers to a vote of members to make sure strikes can only be called when negotiations have “truly broken down”.

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