Shapps says it’s ‘crazy’ to recommend Tories need rail strikes to go forward | Industrial motion

Grant Shapps has stated it’s “crazy” to recommend the Tories need rail unions to go on strike this week, as Labour accused the federal government of encouraging the walkouts to go forward to stoke division.

The transport secretary stated the strikes by 40,000 rail staff, which is because of have an effect on providers throughout a lot of the nation from Monday evening, have been “unnecessary” and a results of commerce union leaders “gunning for” a struggle. He accused RMT of planning to “punish millions of innocent people”.

However, Keir Starmer on Sunday accused Shapps of being the one who was stoking the dispute, after the federal government refused talks with the unions and rail employers.

“They want the country to grind to a halt so they can feed off the division. Instead of spending their time this week around the negotiating table, they are designing attack ads,” the Labour chief stated.

“Instead of grown-up conversations to take the heat out of the situation, they are pouring petrol on the fire. Instead of bringing people together in the national interest, they are stoking division in their political interest.”

Speaking to the BBC’s Sunday Politics present, Shapps dismissed the declare that the Tories need the rail strikes to go forward.

“In what sort of crazy world would anyone want to see our transport sector grind to a halt?” he stated, highlighting college students unable to attend exams and other people more likely to miss hospital appointments and struggling to get to work.

He insisted it was an “11th-hour stunt” by the union, “suddenly coming forward and saying: ‘We need to negotiate with the government now’ even though this last month they told me they wouldn’t be seen dead negotiating with the government.”

However, Mick Lynch, the RMT normal secretary, stated the federal government wanted to assist unlock the talks.

He advised Sky News’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme that staff are “not asking for special treatment” and wish safety amid the price of residing disaster.

He stated: “Train operating companies have made no offer at all during these talks … The train operators adjourned the meeting on Thursday, they’ve not invited us to any talks whatsoever and they’ve made no offer on pay. We’re looking for a pay rise that reflects the cost of living.”

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Lynch additionally accused Shapps of a “fabrication” over the transport secretary’s declare that the unions have been protesting on Saturday reasonably than attending talks.

“He’s making it up. What he’s saying is untrue. We didn’t attend a rally instead of negotiations. There were no negotiations scheduled and the train operating companies have not spoken to me or any of my officials since Thursday at lunchtime,” he stated.

The motion is being taken by Network Rail staff and onboard and station workers working for 13 practice operators in England. RMT has stated hundreds of jobs are in danger in upkeep roles and that ticket workplace closures are deliberate, on prime of pay freezes throughout a time of excessive inflation.

It was additionally reported this weekend that the federal government is seeking to shut all ticket places of work from September and ask folks to purchase their tickets on-line in a plan to save lots of £500m.

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