UK rail strikes could last for six months till X-Mas: report

TEHRAN, Jun. 21 (MNA) – The British Rail Network has threatened that its staff may go on a six-month strike in the country.

Senior Conservatives were pressing Prime Minister Boris Johnson to pass new laws first proposed three years ago, to limit rail workers' right to strike, with 'minimum service' rules banning a walkout by all staff.

The trade union set to lead a walkout on the UK's rail network has warned it has a "mandate" from members for six months of strikes.

After talks with Network Rail, private train operating companies and London Underground broke down on Sunday, the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said its strike over pay, pensions and job cuts could go on until Christmas, Sputnik news agency reported.

"They will only meet after this week and then need to give the employers two weeks’ notice," the source added, referring to requirements set under UK labor law.

Asked if rail commuters and travelers should expect a "long fight", RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch replied, "That may have to be the way that is, I hope that’s not the case, but there doesn’t seem to be much evidence at the moment that it’s going to go any other way."

Network Rail in turn said it was "very unlikely these strikes will be a one-off" and was preparing for a "battle of attrition" reminiscent of the miners' strike of 1984-85 — including paying incentives to staff to cross picket lines and break the strike.

"We are looking at paying RMT signalers extra money to break the strike," a source at the infrastructure company said. "Nothing has been decided but there have been discussions about doing that."


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