Transport unions call for Grant Shapps to intervene to settle rail dispute


Grant Shapps has been urged by transport unions to end the rail dispute, as disruptions continue this weekend

More than 100 international transport unions representing 52 countries have written to Secretary of State for Transport urging him to end the rail dispute.

However, Grant Shapps continues to refuse to join the talks.

Shapps instead insists on repeating his claim that strikes were unnecessary. He also said he wasn’t involved in discussions, as it is up to employers and unions for negotiations.

Rail strikes have already created chaos for thousands of people, and disruptions are expected to continue over the weekend.

Yet, more rail workers are to be given a chance to vote over action, meaning that The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association will ballot members at operator Greater Anglia on pay, conditions and job security.

They include conductors, drivers managers and station staff.

This was just a day after Trans Pennine Express TSSA member received a ballot option. Union members are currently testing other companies.

This will only increase the chaos of summer that is already taking place.

Manuel Cortes, TSSA boss, said: “Rail workers were hailed as heroes in the pandemic.

“They deserve a real-terms pay rise that keeps pace with inflation rather than shouldering the burden of the Tories’ economic meltdown.”

The escalation follows Thursday’s vote for strike action by 700 British Airways check-in staff at Heathrow in a pay dispute that risks disrupting holidaymakers’ getaway plans.

Rail passengers suffered more disruption yesterday after a spill-over from Thursday’s RMT strikes.

The reason that only 60% of trains ran was due to the fact that signallers, control room staff and other overnight workers were not working.

Operators say passengers should participate in a third rail walkout scheduled for Saturday. “travel by train only if necessary”.

The Department for Transport stated: “It’s false to claim the Government is blocking negotiations. We urge unions and industry to agree a deal.”