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UK railway employees: Strike across Britain will continue until union gets deal

Christian Fernsby |
The rail strike on Thursday will go ahead after talks between the RMT union and railway employers broke down.

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The RMT accused Transport Secretary Grant Shapps of "wrecking" negotiations by refusing to allow Network Rail to withdraw redundancy threats.

Mr Shapps called the claim "a total lie", adding the union was solely to blame for the "massive disruption".

Millions were affected on Tuesday, the start of the largest strike in decades, and another walkout is due on Saturday.

A Network Rail source told the BBC there had been little progress in Wednesday's talks and, if anything, the union's position appeared to have hardened. No new pay offer was made.

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) workers' union, said: "Grant Shapps has wrecked these negotiations by not allowing Network Rail to withdraw their letter threatening redundancy for 2,900 of our members.

"Until the government unshackle Network Rail and the train operating companies, it is not going to be possible for a negotiated settlement to be agreed."

He said the industrial action affecting services across Britain will continue until the union gets a deal giving job security and a pay rise that "deals with the escalating cost of living crisis".

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