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No early end in sight for rail dispute

3rd January 2023

The dispute between rail unions and the government and rail companies is set to continue this week, with further disruption of services.

Unions are seeking a pay offer that reflects the cost of living and are resisting plans to cut 1,900 jobs. Offers of 5% for this year and 4% for 2023 have been rejected by union members. Network Rail say that job cuts could be achieved by voluntary redundancies but will not guarantee that there will not be compulsory redundancies. Separate offers by the Rail Delivery Group have been tied to changes in working arrangements that the RMT has rejected. Tim Shoveller, chief negotiator for Network Rail, has suggested that rejection of the proposed changes to working arrangements is partly because they have so far not been well communicated.

In the absence of any resolution, disruption of services is set to affect train travel for five consecutive dates in January. Industrial action is due to take place on Tuesday January 3, Wednesday January 4, Thursday January 5, Friday January 6 and Saturday January 7, with an extremely limited number of services running on all but one of these dates.

No rail replacement buses will service the stations that are closed on these dates either. The public is urged to only travel if absolutely necessary on the dates affected by strike action. If travel is unavoidable, passengers are advised to plan their full journey ahead and to check first and last trains across all train operators.

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