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UK minister warns public workers to brace for real-term pay cuts amid rail strikes

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theguardian.com

People should prepare for rail strikes this week, a senior minister has said, as he warned that the majority of public sector workers should expect a real-terms pay cut this year.The government would “continue to support” negotiations between rail companies and unions but did not have a direct role in trying to prevent the biggest rail strikes in three decades, which were due to start on Monday night, Simon Clarke, the chief secretary to the Treasury, said.“I do think it’s important that we send a message this week that industrial action is likely to proceed, and therefore people make sensible preparations now, because there’s no point giving false hope, if you like, that these strikes can be avoided.

At this stage it is likely that they will proceed,” he told BBC One’s Breakfast programme.Ministers have faced calls to do more to try to prevent three planned 24-hour walkouts this week by RMT members, the first of which starts just after midnight on Tuesday morning.

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