Hospitality staff miss shifts due to rail strikes

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

No breakthroughs: further rail strikes announced for the July and August (Credit: Getty/urbancow)
No breakthroughs: further rail strikes announced for the July and August (Credit: Getty/urbancow)

Related tags Travel Health and safety Social responsibility

The hospitality sector faces further disruptions from rail strikes with more action announced from the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT).

RMT confirmed more than 40,000 rail workers across 14 companies will take part in a walkout today (Wednesday 27 July), after negotiations regarding pay and working conditions had not reached any “breakthroughs”.

Licensee of the Anglesea Arms, South Kensington, London, Elizabeth Rudasa said some of her staff have already had to miss out on shifts due to the previous strikes or organise alternative travel, such as taxis, at an additional cost.

She added: “For the staff it’s very difficult with these strikes, getting to work, especially the ones who live far away.

“[We’ve had] to change the schedule to make sure whoever works closer comes in.”

Furthermore, the Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) stated continued strikes pose a safety to risk to consumers staff alike.

Compromising safety 

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

“The transport infrastructure within the night-time economy is vitally important to our recovery post pandemic.”

Additionally, last month’s strikes saw some city pubs experience a 50% decline in sales according to the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “As an industry we really are trying hard to bounce back after the pandemic, but we are faced time and time again with new hurdles from rising costs to labour shortages and now severe transport disruption​​.

“It is imperative to the health of our industry further strikes​​ are avoided so customers and staff are able to travel with confidence and keep our pubs thriving.”

Additional strike action has also been planned for Saturday 30 July with some 5,500 train drivers across seven rail companies as well as Thursday 18 and Saturday 20 August.

The strikes coincide with the Commonwealth Games, hosted in Birmingham, the end of the UEFA Women's Euro and the start of the English Football League season.

Negotiated settlement

It has been anticipated around 20% of services will be operational throughout the strikes, though some parts of the country could have no train services.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Network Rail have not made any improvement on their previous pay offer and the train companies have not offered us anything new. 

“In fact, Network Rail have upped the ante threatening to impose compulsory redundancies and unsafe 50% cuts to maintenance work if we did not withdraw our planned strike action. 

“The train operating companies have put driver only operations on the table along with ransacking our members terms and conditions. 

“RMT will continue to negotiate in good faith but we will not be bullied or cajoled by anyone.

“The government need to stop their interference in this dispute so the rail employers can come to a negotiated settlement with us.”

Related topics Health & safety

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