Rail strikes expected after 'intransigent negotiations', said former transport adviser Andrew Gilligan

19 October 2022, 11:06 | Updated: 19 October 2022, 11:15

Ex-Boris Johnson adviser slams 'endless arcane rules' around railway

Madeleine Wilson

By Madeleine Wilson

Former Boris Johnson adviser Andrew Gilligan told Nick Ferrari rail workers have shown disinterest for Liz Truss' pay rise offer in return for working practices.

Last night, the RMT’s Mick Lynch announced train strikes which are to take place on November 3,5,7.

The strikes come as a worrisome winter looms with health workers, teachers, midwives and coffin makers who are all threatening strikes as a result of their pay conditions.

Former Boris Johnson adviser Andrew Gilligan told Nick Ferrari that after rail workers were told by the Liz Truss government they could have pay rises in return for working practices, the “intransigent” negotiations meant that it was expected that more strike action would take place.

Mr Gilligan said there is a better pay rise available if workers want it in return for reform. He then added there’s no compulsory redundancies and this guarantee has been extended to a year by the government to 2025.

He went to say: “It’s not about costing anyone’s jobs, it's not about saving anyone money, it's about saving jobs, it’s about saving the railway which is in real financial distress.”

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With this in mind, other trade unions are threatening a winter of strikes over proposed anti-strike laws, in the largest militant showdown with the government since the 1970s.

In September, Liz Truss announced the proposal for anti-strike laws. This would be to combat disruption of vital services like trains, schools, post and the NHS.

Nick asked: "As someone who's worked in the field, at least with rail workers, how real a possibility do you think general strike is Andrew?"

Mr Gilligan replied: “I don’t think we will have a general strike.

“I mean It's almost impossible now with the balloting rules, but I do think we are going to have a series of semi coordinated, unofficially coordinated strikes in the public sector.”

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