Lincoln rail services have ground to a halt due to a union strike that feels ‘attacked’ by industry bosses – leaving the city without trains on Wednesday.
The National Union of Railway, Maritime and Transport Workers has called for another day of nationwide strike action on Wednesday July 27 to protest pay and job security issues.
The day of action follows a three-day strike in June, which again brought the national rail network to its knees in the biggest rail dispute for more than 30 years.
In Lincolnshire the main service running on Wednesdays is the East Coast Main Line, but even that is a reduced service which will not pass through Lincoln.
The strikes led to the complete closure of Lincoln station on Wednesday, with a sign on the front door saying there will be “no trains from this station due to industrial action”.
A picket line has been set up outside Lincoln station by RMT workers who say they are fighting for their rights as workers – after the government asked the rail sector to cut costs by around 10% due to a break imposed by COVID-19 – the pandemic in no.
The RMT says this is not possible without thousands of redundancies, while claiming workers have not received a pay rise for three years – despite Network Rail reporting a £1.6bn pre-tax profit for the 2020 financial year/ 21.
Around 40,000 members of the RMT union, who work at Network Rail and 14 other rail operators, are taking part in the strike, with only 20% of the country’s services operating.
It comes at a busy time nationally, with the Commonwealth Games starting in Birmingham this week, as well as a number of music festivals taking place this weekend.
Stan Herschel, regional organizer at the RMT, accused the rail industry of trying to “attack the workers” with poor wages and working conditions, saying that as a union they could not take it anymore.
He said Lincolnite: “Actions are taking place because the industry has decided to attack the workers for denouncing the poor working conditions, the imminent threat of thousands of redundancies and the absence of a pay rise for three years.
“We are doing this to protect the workers. Of course I feel for those who cannot travel, but I am sure the general public understands, especially in the current climate, why it had to be done. »
Asked what it would take to end these strikes, Mr Herschel said: “All we want is to get ourselves around the table for fair negotiations, and so far that’s not happening.
“I want to thank the public for their tremendous support of our action, many understand that this is the way of the world right now and we are doing everything we can to protect the rights of our workers.”
Lincolnite spoke to a resident outside the station who was heading towards the entrance to catch a train for a job interview in Scunthorpe.
They said they had no idea the strikes were taking place as East Midlands Railway’s online timetable still showed a train running from Lincoln to Scunthorpe.
The strikes are expected to have a knock-on effect on the rail sector, with delays and busy services expected to last until Thursday as people change their travel plans around the action. Wednesday.