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Chaos threatens festival-goers as 20,000 railway workers go on strike today

Festival travel to the Notting Hill Carnival has been impacted by the latest round of rail strikes (Image: Getty)

The Notting Hill Carnival is expected to be disrupted by the latest round of train strikes (Image: Getty)

Rail travelers heading to festivals or events this bank holiday weekend will face renewed disruption due to ongoing travel Strikes over pay, jobs and working conditions.

Around 20,000 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union are set to stage a strike that will paralyze transport across England.

The latest stalemate in this dispute, which has lasted for the second time, is due to the lack of progress made by rail operators. The union says they are “crippling” by the government’s refusal to mandate them to present a revised wage offer.

The RMT is also planning a strike for September 2, while members of the Aslef drivers’ union are on strike September 1, threatening days of unrest.

General Secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) Mick Lynch (L) waits for the start of a live interview with a news channel from a picket line outside Euston railway station June 2, 2023 in London, England .  There are currently a number of train driver strikes.

Over 20,000 rail workers will stage a strike to protest jobs, wages and working conditions (Image: Getty)

Rail unions are also embroiled in a row over controversial plans to close ticket offices, which have also angered passenger groups and representatives of elderly and disabled passengers.

More than 460,000 people took part in a consultation on the plans and a protest was held opposite Downing Street on August 31, the day before the consultation ended.

Trains will start later and finish earlier on Saturday – and there will be no service in some areas.

The strike will affect those traveling to events such as London’s Notting Hill Carnival and the Reading and Leeds festivals.

RMT Secretary General Mick Lynch said: “The Government is not serious about settling this dispute which is causing further disruption to passengers.”

“The rail operators are not given a mandate to come up with a new offer that we can submit to members in a referendum to settle this dispute.”

“Meanwhile, our campaign to save the ticket offices will reach a new level with a rally outside Parliament on August 31 where we will tell ministers in no uncertain terms that ticket offices must remain open and our communities must remain intact.”

The strikes will disrupt festivals and activities throughout the weekend (Image: Getty)

“Our industry campaign will continue until we can find a negotiated solution and save as many ticket offices as possible.”

“RMT members remain committed to raising salaries, securing their future employment and maintaining good working conditions.”

“They have shown tremendous resolve in the face of a government that is making policy and refusing to make a deal.”

Aslef General Secretary Mick Whelan said the dispute was now political and the train drivers were determined to continue to take industrial action.

Some rail companies have advised people to only travel on Saturdays if necessary.

A spokesman for Rail Delivery Group said: “The industry will be working hard to keep as many services running as possible.”

“There is no question that the strikes called by the RMT and Aslef leadership are deliberately targeting passengers who want to enjoy various sporting events and festivals during the holidays and at the end of the summer vacation, thwarting their plans and hurting the local economy.” and force more cars onto the road.

“This is despite the fact that the RMT has repeatedly denied its memberships a vote on offers of up to 13% for the lowest-paid members over two years, which could easily settle this dispute.”

“Unfortunately there will be limited offers on August 26th, Friday and September 1st and 2nd. As the level of service varies across the country, we recommend that you do your research before you travel and follow the latest travel information. Passengers with pre-sale tickets can receive a refund free of charge if the train on which the ticket was booked is cancelled, delayed or rescheduled.

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: “The government has done its part to end these disputes by enabling fair and reasonable wage offers, but union leaders are refusing to allow their members to vote on this.”

“By cynically targeting the bank holiday weekend and pushing more passengers off train travel while our railways are already losing £10m a day without industrial action, RMT’s strikes are damaging the future of their own industry.”

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