Christmas railway strikes have been designed to create “maximum disruption” and are likely to have a “pretty profound” impact on the nation, a Cabinet minister has warned.
Mel Stride, the Work and Pensions Secretary, said there needs to be “more talking” and “less announcements of strikes” from union bosses.
The RMT union announced yesterday that it intends to stage a series of 48-hour strikes in December and January as part of a long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions, with walkouts planned on December 13, 14, 16 and 17, and on January 3,4,6 and 7.
Mr Stride said: “What we need is more talking from the unions with the employers and less announcements of strikes… the consequence of this for families up and down the country, some of them quite serious incidentally, people trying to get to medical appointments for example, as well as the family reunions you have mentioned.
“It could be pretty profound. If you look at the timing of these strikes, they are designed to create maximum disruption across the Christmas period.
“What we need is the unions to continue to engage with the employers and also with Network Rail in order to come to a sensible solution.”
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