RAILWAY stations across Wales lie quiet this morning as the largest industrial action on the network in more than 30 years takes grip.
This was the scene at Aberystwyth Railway Station this morning.
Usually, the station is bustling on a weekday morning but all railway services across Wales, bar one in south Wales, have been cancelled as a result of the industrial action.
Welsh train operator, Transport for Wales, is not in dispute with the National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT), but the planned action today (Tuesday, 21 June), Thursday, 23 June and Saturday, 25 June, will significantly disrupt services in Wales as signallers working for Network Rail who operate the line are on strike.
The action has led to all but one of the rail services in Wales being cancelled, with Transport for Wales advising people not to travel by rail at all this week.
A spokesperson for Transport for Wales said: “We’re advising customers not to travel by train on 21, 23 and 25 June, with the majority of our rail services suspended as a result of industrial action resulting from the dispute between RMT and Network Rail.
“Due to the wider disruption caused, we’re also advising customers to only travel by rail if essential for 20, 22, 24 and 26 June.
“We’ll be running a full service again on the 27 June, although we expect it to be busy.
“TfW is not in dispute with RMT, but the industrial action means we’re unable to operate rail services on Network Rail infrastructure.”
The RMT says over 50,000 railway workers will walk out as part of three days of national strike action, making it the biggest dispute on the network since 1989.
Announcing the strikes last week, the RMT said: “Network Rail and the train operating companies have subjected their staff to multiyear pay freezes and plan to cut thousands of jobs which will make the railways unsafe.
“Despite intense talks with the rail bosses, RMT has not been able to secure a pay proposal nor a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies. “In a separate dispute over pensions and job losses, London Underground RMT members will take strike action on June 21st.”
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch added: “Railway workers have been treated appallingly and despite our best efforts in negotiations, the rail industry with the support of the government has failed to take their concerns seriously.
“We have a cost-of-living crisis, and it is unacceptable for railway workers to either lose their jobs or face another year of a pay freeze when inflation is at 11.1 per cent and rising.
“Our union will now embark on a sustained campaign of industrial action which will shut down the railway system.
“Rail companies are making at least £500m a year in profits, whilst fat cat rail bosses have been paid millions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This unfairness is fuelling our members anger and their determination to win a fair settlement.”
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