Night Time Industries Association say planned rail strikes “compromise safety” of travellers

The RMT union strikes could affect those travelling to Glastonbury later this month

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) have criticised planned rail strikes this month as “compromising the safety” of travellers.

This week, the RMT union announced that “over 50,000 railway workers will walkout as part of 3 days of national strike action later this month, in the biggest dispute on the network since 1989”.

The nationwide strikes are due to take place on June 21, 23 and 25, which means that those travelling to Worthy Farm for Glastonbury 2022 – held from June 22-26 – may face disruption. Other events affected the same week include the British athletics championships in Manchester and Elton John and The Rolling Stones‘ BST Hyde Park concerts.

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Responding to the planned strike, Michael Kill, CEO of the NTIA, said: “The announcement of UK wide train strikes has sent a shockwave throughout the industry, over concerns for staff and public safety, and the potential impact on trade.”

“Limited Rail services across the UK will leave many stranded at night, compromising safety with very few alternative transport services available.”

Kill added: “The transport infrastructure within the night time economy is vitally important to our recovery post pandemic, particularly as we move into peak summer season for festival and events, and a critical time for tourism, who rely heavily on public transport.”

Glastonbury
Glastonbury Festival goers. CREDIT: Rob Stothard/Getty Images

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said of the strike: “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.

“We have a cost-of-living crisis, and it is unacceptable for railway workers to either lose their jobs or face another year of a pay freeze when inflation is at 11.1% and rising. Our union will now embark on a sustained campaign of industrial action which will shut down the railway system.”

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He continued: “Rail companies are making at least £500m a year in profits, whilst fat cat rail bosses have been paid millions during the Covid-19 pandemic. This unfairness is fuelling our members anger and their determination to win a fair settlement.”

Andrew Haines, Network Rail’s chief executive, added: “There are two weeks until the first strike is planned. We will use this time to keep talking to our unions and, through compromise and common sense on both sides, we hope to find a solution and avoid the damage that strike action would cause all involved.”

Glastonbury returns this month following a two-year COVID-enforced hiatus, with Billie EilishPaul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar set to top the bill over the weekend.

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