Edinburgh RMT Rail Strikes 2022: What dates strikes take place, which rail companies, services are affected?

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Further rail strike action is expected in November, RMT confirms.

Further days of industrial action are set to stretch until November in the latest wave of a long-standing dispute between the union and Network Rail including in Edinburgh over unresolved pay, job security, and working conditions, potentially disrupting millions of journeys as the country heads into winter.

According to the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT)  , there was an understanding that Network Rail would commit to a better compensation offer and work toward a negotiated settlement but the company “reneged on their promises of an improved pay offer and sought to impose job cuts, more unsocial hours and detrimental changes to rosters” in what they called a ‘U-turn’ pay offer.

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RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: "On the one hand they (Network Rail) were telling our negotiators that they were prepared to do a deal, while planning to torpedo negotiations by imposing unacceptable changes to our members’ terms and conditions. Our members are livid with these duplicitous tactics, and they will now respond in kind with sustained strike action."

In response, Network Rail’s chief negotiator, Tim Shoveller, said: "A two-year 8% deal, with discounted travel and a new extended job guarantee to January 2025, is on the table ready to be put to our staff. Unfortunately, the leadership of the RMT seem intent on more damaging strikes rather than giving their members a vote on our offer."

So, how will services to and from Edinburgh be affected? Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming rail strikes.

When will the round of rail strikes take place?

The new round of industrial action by the RMT is set to take place on November 3, 5 and 7. RMT staff will also strike on November 3 in a separate dispute with London Underground and Overground networks (Arriva Rail London).

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RMT members who are train managers on Avanti West Coast will walk out on Saturday,  October 22 and Sunday, November 6. In Scotland, ScotRail RMT members will also walk out for 24 hours on Saturday, October 29.

What happens on non-strike days in between?

The three days of industrial action will have an effect on the six days from November 3 to November 8 combined. Early trains will be affected the day after each strike, with approximately 75% of services probably operating on November 4, 6, and 8. Since many people who had wanted to travel on strike-affected days will be looking to reschedule their travel, they are probably going to be busy.

Further strike action has been planned for November, RMT confirmsFurther strike action has been planned for November, RMT confirms
Further strike action has been planned for November, RMT confirms | Getty Images

What services will be affected by the RMT rail strikes in Edinburgh?

Scotrail said they have received formal notification from the RMT trade union that its general grades members will take part in 24-hour strike action on Saturday, October 29 as part of a dispute over pay. The rail company said they are now assessing the impact this will have on their services and working on contingency arrangements.

Scotrail said: “The action of a strike will see some daily cancellations, as the operation of Scotrail services requires rest day working and overtime as recruitment continues. We’re doing everything we can to minimise disruption, and to keep customers updated on which services are impacted.”

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The systems are updated each night, so it is best to check Scotrail’s website on any train cancellations before starting your journey on their website.

The RMT has been in a dispute with Network Rail over pay and work conditions, in which RMT general secretary Mick Lynch accuses Network Rail of “dishonesty”.The RMT has been in a dispute with Network Rail over pay and work conditions, in which RMT general secretary Mick Lynch accuses Network Rail of “dishonesty”.
The RMT has been in a dispute with Network Rail over pay and work conditions, in which RMT general secretary Mick Lynch accuses Network Rail of “dishonesty”. | AFP via Getty Images

Who is involved in the pay dispute?

There are actually dozens of individual disputes involving many employers. They are Network Rail – the infrastructure provider, running the tracks, signalling and some large stations and more than a dozen train operators, who are contracted by the Department for Transport (DfT) to run a specified schedule of services.

There are four unions who are involved in the ongoing negotiations. They are, RMT, the main rail union, Aslef, representing train drivers, Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA), the union for white-collar staff in the transport industry and Unite, representing some grades in some train operators.

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