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New UK-wide rail strike announced for 27 July as RMT rejects pay offer

Britain’s rail network will be shut down by another 24-hour strike that could disrupt summer holiday travel as well crowds headed to Euro 2022 and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Workers at rail operators and Network Rail will walk out on Wednesday 27 July, the RMT union announced, in a dispute over pay and conditions.

It comes after a week of disruption last month in which train services were all but halted and London’s Tube network was also shut down.

The new strike coincides with one semi-final of the women’s Euro 2022 football championship being played in Milton Keynes, while the Commonwealth Games begin in Birmingham on Thursday 28 July.

Staff rejected the offer of a four per cent pay rise backdated to January, another 2 per cent rise next year and an additional 2 per cent contingent on “modernisation milestones” being bet.

Mick Lynch, RMT general secretary, said: “The offer from Network Rail represents a real terms pay cut for our members and the paltry sum is conditional on RMT members agreeing to drastic changes in their working lives. The train operating companies remain stubborn and are refusing to make any new offer which deals with job security and pay.

“Strike action is the only course open to us to make both the rail industry and Government understand that this dispute will continue for as long as it takes, until we get a negotiated settlement.”

The RMT said it will be consulting other unions amid talk of coordinated walkouts. Members of Aslef working for eight train operators have also overwhelmingly backed industrial action in a series of ballots affecting firms including LNER, GWR, TransPennine Express, Chiltern, London Overground (run by Arriva), Northern, Southeastern and West Midlands.

A spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group, representing train operators, said: “We want to see rail unions engage with train operators over the reforms needed to secure a bright long-term future for the industry, including working with Aslef to deliver the more punctual, reliable services we know passengers care about.

“Instead of causing further disruption to passengers and businesses, we urge the Aslef leadership to continue talks.”

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