Londoners face commuter misery as RMT confirms series of strikes – including August Bank Holiday

Tube strikes and industrial action by First Great Western (FGW) trains are set to cause commuter chaos as travellers face a double-whammy of strikes next week.

The RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) announced today that their members will go ahead with two strikes next week as the row over working conditions for the Night Tube continues.

Striking Tube workers will not work on any shifts that start from 6:30pm on Tuesday August 25 to 6:29pm the following day.

The industrial action will resume when tube workers down tools again at 6:30pm on Thursday August 27 until 6:29 on Friday August 28.

The action comes just weeks after Tube strikes disrupted the Wimbledon championships as tennis fans found themselves unable to take the District line to the famous SW19.

Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, released a statement to union members today that said: “I urge you all to continue to stand firm together and support the action to defend your jobs and conditions of service.

“Talks with LUL are still taking place at ACAS and this extended industrial action must show management that it is now time for LUL to cease its decimation of your jobs and conditions to resolve this dispute once and for all.”

TfL warned commuters that the Tube is expected to be ‘exceptionally busy’ between 4:30pm and 6:30pm on both those days as customers rush to get home.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson was condemned by the rail union last month for his ‘pig-headedness’ on continuing to insist on a September launch for the Night Tube while the union wanted more time for negotiations to take place.

FGW workers will also go on a 25-hour strike this Sunday, August 23, and a 72-hour stoppage over the bank holiday weekend, over threats to jobs, services and the introduction of the new Hitachi Inter City trains.

Services out of London Paddington including those towards commuter belt homes in Reading, Oxford, Bath and Bristol will all be affected.

FGW have promised to run 705 of their Sunday services but warn that the trains are likely to be busy, have limited on-board food and drink services and the last trains of the day would leave ‘significantly’ earlier.

They released a statement saying their discussions with the RMT had been ‘positive’ but Sunday’s strike will go ahead.

Their statement said “We are continuing to meet with the RMT, and remain hopeful we can come to an agreement that will avoid the bank holiday weekend strike going ahead.”

Featured image courtesy of Jasperdo, with thanks

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