Rail Strikes: Martin Daubney attacks entitlement of union members
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National rail strikes are set to hit most major lines on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday this week. A London Underground strike will also take place today (June 21), causing disruption on all services including on non-strike days. Editor and columnist Mike Lowe slammed the BBC’s coverage of the strikes, tweeting: “The BBC News this morning is apocalyptic.
“They seem surprised that Euston is empty. And the helicopter is up.
“Sense of perspective, chaps.”
Other social media users added that the news broadcaster to be biased in favour of those affected by the strikes rather than explaining why workers were going on strike.
User charlottor said: “BBC News now discussing the rail strikes – ‘I feel like they choose very inconvenient times to go on strike’.
“Oh sorry love, let’s just all strike when it will have literally no impact at all”.
The user added: “Pure nonsense from the BBC there – all the chat about disruption… but NOT A PEEP about why the RMT are actually on strike in the first place?!”
reece_dinsdale added: “Was shocked to see this evening that the 6 o’clock BBC News opened with stories of the effects the rail strike would have on various ordinary people in society.
“What are the people who are striking then… chopped liver?”
A user who appeared to be one of the striking workers similarly complained: “We are being made out to be uncaring, greedy workers on high salaries when this isn’t the case.
“We’ve never been able to work from home and save petrol and other costs and times are hard. Striking is a last resort.”
The Rail Maritime and Transport Workers union who are behind the strikes have warned it will “intensify” its campaign if members are not offered a suitable deal.
Following talks with National Rail, union bosses announced that they were not able to secure a pay proposal or a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies in their announcement of the strike.
They also said workers had been subjected to multi-year pay freezes and thousands of jobs were at risk of being cut.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Railway workers have been treated appallingly and despite our best efforts in negotiations, the rail industry with the support of the government has failed to take their concerns seriously.
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A report by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in May accused Network Rail of planning to cut 2,500 safety-critical jobs.
It claimed axing the roles would increase the risk of major accidents on Britain’s railways and called for alternatives to be found for saving money, but Network Rail refuted the claim and said its plans to modernise the railway were being ignored.
In a statement, National Rail said: “There will be a very limited service running on the rail network so please only travel by train if necessary. If you do travel, expect severe disruption and plan ahead.”
A spokesperson for the company said: “The modernisation proposals we’ve put on the table would help our workforce be more flexible, enabling us to avoid compulsory job losses.
“The ideas would also help our workforce be safer because they won’t work on live tracks as often. So far our ideas have fallen on deaf ears.”
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