Train strikes – live: Government accused of ‘inflaming tensions’ over rail dispute

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.

The TUC is calling on the Westminster government to adopt a positive role in the dispute, saying it was “inflaming tensions” with comments such as threatening to “revoke” workers’ legal rights.

Meanwhile, Mick Lynch, the general secretary of the RMT union, said the group did not want to be the cause of disruption for travellers but the industry was facing thousands of job cuts, as well as a long working week.

He said the union had no choice but to act after the train operators had still not made a pay offer when talks adjourned on Thursday.

But the transport secretary hit out at the industrial action on Sunday, saying it was “no way to behave on the railway”.

Grant Shapps said this was a “huge mistake” and accused the unions of “gunning for this strike”.


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