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Rail strikes: RMT union says members have ‘grit and determination’ for long dispute if necessary – live

Senior RMT official criticises government for being ‘nowhere to be seen’ in dispute as millions prepare for rail disruption

  • UK minister warns public workers to prepare for real-term pay cuts

Tim Shoveller, the chief negotiator for Network Rail, told the Today programme this morning that he did not think the government needed to get involved in the talks on the rail dispute. He said this was an issue for the industry to resolve with trade unions.

He said managers wanted to make the rail industry “more efficient to generate the funds so that we can make the pay awards that our colleagues want”.

I think it would be a disaster for the country. It would be a disaster for our passengers and, look, really bad for our employees, who would lose loads of money by having a long, drawn-out strike – that really is the worst place we can get to.

At the end of the day, the facts about the support the government’s provided in terms of the £16bn through Covid, etc – all of those are well-known and documented.

The Criminal Bar Association (CBA), which represents barristers in England and Wales, said several days of court walkouts will begin from next week.

The promised industrial action, announced on Monday following a ballot of members, comes at a time of significant backlogs across the court system.

This extraordinary commitment to the democratic process reflects a recognition amongst criminal barristers at all levels of call and across all circuits that what is at stake is the survival of a profession of specialist criminal advocates and of the criminal justice system which depends so critically upon their labour.

Without immediate action to halt the exodus of criminal barristers from our ranks, the record backlog that has crippled our courts will continue to inflict misery upon victims and defendants alike, and the public will be betrayed.

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