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UK rail strike: second day of action to go ahead after talks fail again

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Train operators and passengers face more disruption on Thursday after talks between rail industry bosses and the RMT union failed to head off a second national 24-hour strike.The RMT said talks had broken down on Wednesday without a settlement, and hit out at the government for “wrecking negotiations” in the dispute over pay, working conditions and proposed “modernisation” plans to cut costs after the pandemic.Fewer than one in five trains in Great Britain are expected to run on Thursday as 40,000 RMT members working for Network Rail and 13 train operating companies go on strike, mostly limited to sporadic services on mainlines and urban areas between the hours of 7.30am and 6.30pm.Drivers from the Aslef union will also join strike action on Thursday on the Greater Anglia network.The RMT general secretary, Mick Lynch, blamed the transport secretary for the failure of talks: “Grant Shapps has wrecked these negotiations by not allowing Network Rail to withdraw theirletter 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.“We will continue with our industrial campaign until we get a negotiated settlement that delivers job security and a pay rise for our members that deals with the escalating cost of living crisis.”Network Rail has given notice that it will start a formal process enabling 1,800 redundancies from 1 July, incorporating compulsory redundancies if necessary.

A letter to the RMT leadership on Monday said it could not delay any longer plans to reform its maintenance regimes.The union has rejected offers of pay increases worth up to 3% from Network Rail and train

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