Train strikes news – latest: Rail workers to stage 24-hour walkout on Boxing Day evening

When are strikes happening in January?

Workers at a rail operator will stage a 24-hour strike from Boxing Day evening as walkouts continue to dampen the festive season due to unresolved pay disputes.

Members of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) at CrossCountry will walk out from 9pm as part of a long-running campaign for a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies, no unagreed changes to terms and conditions, and a pay increase which addresses the rising cost of living.

The union believes that walkouts by staff will severely impact services at CrossCountry, which covers large swathes of the country, from Penzance to the Midlands, Wales and northern England through to Scottish cities as far north as Aberdeen.

TSSA organising director Nadine Rae said: “Our members at CrossCountry do not want to strike, especially over the Christmas holiday period, but they are sick and tired of being taken for granted.

“They deserve a pay rise to help manage the escalating cost of living, and they rightly demand job security.”

TSSA members work in roles including customer service managers, driver managers, trainers, control, customer communications, safety, timetabling and planning.

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Boxing Day shoppers defy expectation with high footfall

Shoppers appear to have defied Boxing Day expectations with early indications suggesting footfall at UK retail destinations is up by as much as half on this time last year.

Concerns had been raised that the cost-of-living crisis coupled with rail strikes could affect the traditionally popular shopping day.

But central London, which has been hit hard by industrial action from transport unions, saw footfall more than double on Boxing Day morning.

Industry analyst Springboard said data up until midday on Monday showed footfall was higher across all three key destination types compared with the same period in 2021.

On high streets it was up by 59.4%, in shopping centres by 46.6%, and in retail parks by 33.7%, Springboard said.

With footfall in central London up 139.2%, the data firm suggested negative impacts from industrial action on the railways had not materialised as expected.

However, Boxing Day footfall this year has still not returned to pre-pandemic levels, remaining 30.5% lower than on December 26 in 2019.

While footfall was up “significantly” across all UK nations, Northern Ireland saw the greatest increase, at more than five times the level seen in 2021.

Last December, Covid rules are thought to have impacted shoppers, with restrictions in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, including wearing masks in all shops and limiting indoor group sizes to six.

In both the east of England and the Greater London regions, the rise in footfall from last year was at least a third more than seen in other parts of the UK, Springboard said.

Scotland saw the smallest rise – up 27.4% – with Springboard noting the weather has been “far less favourable”.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said a likely factor in the increase was Boxing Day 2021 fell on a Sunday rather than a weekday, but added that the latest figures “provide real reason for optimism amongst retailers”.

She said: “Whilst the bounce back from the pandemic is a key reason for the increased footfall, a further boost to footfall is likely to have been provided by the fact that Boxing Day in 2021 was on a Sunday.

“This meant a number of stores were closed and some would have had reduced trading hours.

“As the day progresses, we are likely to see a smaller increase in footfall from 2021, however, given the scale of the uplift already recorded, the increase in activity from last year will remain significant.

“Footfall has undoubtedly been helped by the calm and sunny weather, which will have encouraged consumers to make trips out.

“These results provide real reason for optimism amongst retailers, as these results come in the face of another rail strike and the underlying challenge of the cost-of-living crisis.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain26 December 2022 15:40

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CrossCountry workers to stage 24-hour walkout on Boxing Day evening

Workers at a rail operator will stage a 24-hour strike from Boxing Day evening, continuing the wave of industrial unrest sweeping across the country.

Members of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) at CrossCountry will walk out from 9pm as part of a long-running campaign for a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies, no unagreed changes to terms and conditions, and a pay increase which addresses the rising cost of living.

The union believes that walkouts by staff will severely impact services at CrossCountry, which covers large swathes of the country, from Penzance to the Midlands, Wales and northern England through to Scottish cities as far north as Aberdeen.

TSSA members work in roles including customer service managers, driver managers, trainers, control, customer communications, safety, timetabling and planning.

Managers are based at stations including Edinburgh, Newcastle, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Bournemouth and Plymouth.

TSSA members at Great Western Railway will strike from noon on Wednesday to 11.59am on Thursday, and at West Midlands Trains from noon on Wednesday to noon on Thursday.

TSSA organising director Nadine Rae said: “Our members at CrossCountry do not want to strike, especially over the Christmas holiday period, but they are sick and tired of being taken for granted.

“They deserve a pay rise to help manage the escalating cost of living, and they rightly demand job security.

“The company, like all the train operators under the control of the Department for Transport, need to face up to the fact that only serious offers which meet our aspirations will end this dispute.

“Rail workers are seeking basic fair treatment: not to be sacked from their jobs; a fair pay rise in the face of a cost-of-living crisis; and no race to the bottom on terms and conditions.

“Make no mistake we will again see trains coming to a halt unless rail bosses and the Government do the right thing for our members and our precious rail network which so many people rely on.”

– Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union are continuing with a strike in a separate dispute over jobs, pay and conditions

Maryam Zakir-Hussain26 December 2022 14:47

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What are my travel options during Border Force strikes at UK airports?

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union who normally check passports will strike from 23 December until the end of the year, with the exception of 27 December. UK Border Force staff will also strike at the port of Newhaven in East Sussex on the same dates.

Almost two million passengers are booked to fly into the affected airports during the stoppages. Could their festive flights be disrupted – and what are the airports and airlines saying?

These are the key questions and answers, Simon Calder writes:

Maryam Zakir-Hussain26 December 2022 13:55

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PCS union tells angry public to ‘blame the government’ for strike incovenience

The PCS union has said the public should blame the government for the incovenience caused by its going on strike.

In a tweet, the union said: “We recognise that the public will be inconvenienced by PCS civil service members going on strike.

“But if you are feeling angry, blame the government which has undervalued its own workers for many years and could choose to end these strikes.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain26 December 2022 13:23

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Long queues form for Boxing Day sales

Shoppers lined up outside stores to make the most of Boxing Day sales today.

(PA)

(PA)

Maryam Zakir-Hussain26 December 2022 12:37

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Boxing day travel chaos: How Border Force and rail strikes could affect festive travel plans

Passengers arriving at some of the UK’s major airports over the festive season could face long queues as UK Border Force staff go on strike – with a threat of Christmas flight cancellations.

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union has announced industrial action from 23 December until the end of the year, with the exception of 27 December.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain26 December 2022 11:55

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The NHS saved my life – and I have a message for Steve Barclay

“Without doctors and nurses I would be dead. Several times over, in fact,” James Moore writes.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain26 December 2022 11:17

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Total shutdown of railway but coaches and ferries running on time

As the latest rail strike continues into its third day, Britain’s railways are at a standstill – with a warning to passengers to avoid all but essential travel until 9 January.

But many people are on the move within the UK, with flights, ferries and long-distance coaches already busy.

Our travel correspondent Simon Calder reports:

Maryam Zakir-Hussain26 December 2022 10:35

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Rail dispute unlikely to end without mandate for industry to negotiate – RMT

The rail dispute will continue into the new year unless the Government gives the industry a mandate to negotiate a settlement to the long running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions, a union has warned.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) accused ministers of “abdicating their responsibility” to sort out the industrial unrest.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch has claimed the Government is blocking rail employers from making a deal.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain26 December 2022 10:07

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Christmas rail travel: Which trains are running from December until the second week of January?

With many hundreds of trains being cancelled even on a day with no strikes, rail passengers in Britain face the most relentless disruption to journeys in a lifetime.

Between Thursday 22 December and Sunday 8 January, The Independent calculates that up to a quarter of a million trains will not run as they would in normal times – as festive engineering work and staff shortage exacerbate the worst strike action since the 1980s.

The leading cause of disruption is the sustained series of strikes by members of the RMT union. In the past six months workers for Network Rail – the infrastructure provider – and around a dozen train operators have walked out on 12 days.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain26 December 2022 09:33

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