More rail strikes as sector 'suffering heavily'

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Irreparable damage: sector suffering heavily as more rail strikes announced for next month (Credit: Getty/coldsnowstorm)
Irreparable damage: sector suffering heavily as more rail strikes announced for next month (Credit: Getty/coldsnowstorm)

Related tags NTIA Finance Government ukhospitality Health and safety

Announcement of further rail strikes to take place next month “catastrophic” for the hospitality and late-night economy which are already reporting losses and “at risk of failing”.

This comes as the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) union today (Wednesday 31 August) stated workers across around nine train operating companies had been confirmed to take part in a 24-hour strike from midday on Monday 26 September.

Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) CEO Michael Kill said: “Our industry is suffering heavily from rising costs, with most reporting an estimated loss​ of up to 40% in trade from the previous strike action.

Long term ​strike action would be catastrophic, sporadic weekly or daily planned strike action is eating into consumer confidence.

Irreparable damage 

"The current operating climate will lead to irreparable damage without Government intervention, leading to loss of businesses and jobs, slowing recovery."

Companies including Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, Great Western Railway, LNER, Southeastern, East Midlands Railway, C2C, and West Midlands Trains are expected to participate in the walkout following ongoing national rail disputes over pay, job security and conditions.

TSSA union leader Manuel Cortes said: “The dead hand of Grant Shapps is sadly stopping DfT train operating companies from making a revised, meaningful offer.  

“The reason for the current impasse lies squarely at Shapps’ door and passengers are paying a high price for his incompetence and intransigence. 

"I welcome the fact negotiations are ongoing with Network Rail and the gap towards a resolution is narrowing. Time will tell whether a deal can be done to avert our next strike.”

Point of failure 

Previous strikes have already been estimated by the trade body UKHospitality (UKH​) to have cost the sector some £540m as well as hospitality staff​ having struggled to get to and from work.

The strikes come as soaring energy costs have already put the sector at risk of collapsing​ with 80% of operators have been quoted increases of 300% for their energy bills, according to the NTIA.

Kill said: “The current climate would see this crisis take more businesses to the point of failure than the pandemic.

“As we move towards the colder months, where energy​​ consumption increases, we will see costs spiral out of control.”

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