Home » Train Strikes: RMT Calls Johnson’s Agency Staff Plans ‘a Gimmick’ – Live Updates

Train Strikes: RMT Calls Johnson’s Agency Staff Plans ‘a Gimmick’ – Live Updates

RMT calls Johnson’s agency staff plans ‘a gimmick’

On Monday, Boris Johnson responded to the biggest rail strikes in a generation with plans to break the industrial action by allowing firms to bring in agency staff, a move unions have decried as unworkable, unsafe and potentially breaking international law.

Amanda Testa, RMT branch secretary in Bristol, told the PA news agency:

There aren’t any agency staff – we have seen that in other industries.

Testa added it was nearly impossible to find agency staff to help, even when there were no strikes.

PA reporters have been speaking to travellers about their experiences during the rail strikes – here one recounts the “stressful” last-minute “rush” to catch the final train from London to Scotland.

Nicole Perl, 33 was forced to spend £40 on a taxi to make it to London Euston Station on time to make the last Scotland-bound train which would take her to her home in Carlisle.

She said:

I checked the trains yesterday when I arrived back from Stansted Airport and they seemed to be running fairly regularly, every two hours or so up until 6pm and it seemed to be the case this morning as well.

But when I checked again at noon it said the last train was at 1.30pm so it was a bit of a rush to get here. It was quite stressful and sweaty.

Another passenger, who did not want to be identified, said they had spent £100 on a taxi as their planned public transport route would not get them to the station in time.

Refuse collection workers call off strike after pay deal

Refuse collection workers have accepted a 7.5% pay rise, ending the threat of industrial action.

Members of the GMB employed by Veolia in Chesterfield voted in favour of a deal the union said is worth an extra £2 an hour.

GMB official Deanne Ferguson said:

At a time when workers are feeling large financial pressures due to the cost-of-living crisis, I am pleased Veolia has listened to our members’ requests.

They’ve offered a pay rise which will make a real difference to their working lives.

GMB members, some of the lowest paid in the country, were prepared to take strike action to secure a fair pay increase.”

Guardian reporters Helen Pidd, Jessica Murray and Alex Lawson have been at train stations today and found that the predicted chaos at many of England’s major railways stations did not materialise during Tuesday’s strike.

Many passengers “wore a look of weary resignation”, however, following long waits and cancelled trains.

The full report is here:

Rachel Hall here taking over the blog – please do email over anything we’ve missed to [email protected].

Boris Johnson criticised rail workers for bringing the country’s train network to a halt. Union members are protesting in Britain’s biggest transit strike for 30 years.

During a cabinet meeting, the prime minister said the strike was “so wrong” and caused “all sorts of unnecessary aggravation”.

Watch here: