Industrial action on the railways could stretch until Christmas, unions have warned as they prepare for the biggest strike in three decades.
Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT union, told the i newspaper that there “doesn’t seem to be much evidence at the moment that it’s going to go any other way”.
“The TSSA [union], which represents about 6000 Network Rail staff is balloting, Aslef, which along with us organises train drivers has about six or seven ballots being returned on July 11 – just a few weeks away. If there’s no settlement I can only see this escalating,” he said.
Meanwhile, a union source told the Telegraph that the RMT had a “mandate for strike action for six months”.
Union leaders have accused the government of “inflaming” tensions over the rail dispute that is due to see widespread strikes beginning tonight.
Services on the railways and London Underground will be crippled from midnight in the biggest walkout in the industry for more than 30 years in a row over pay, jobs and conditions.