Last month, around 40,000 rail workers took part in the industry’s biggest strike for decades, knocking out 80 percent of the UK’s train services over three days.

Their dispute with train operators - over low pay, job cuts, working conditions and safety concerns - is ongoing, and more strikes are planned over the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, members of ASLEF - the trade union representing train drivers - are also due to strike.

Read on for a breakdown of when industrial action will happen, why it's happening, and how it will affect travel in Wales.

When are the next RMT rail strikes, and will they affect Wales? 

RMT workers - from ticket collectors and cleaners to office staff and signallers - will again be on strike next Wednesday 27th July.

Further strike days are planned for 18th and 20th August.

Though Transport for Wales workers will not be among those walking out on these dates, the participation of staff at Network Rail - which owns and operates much of our rail infrastructure - will see significant disruption for travellers in Wales.

“The majority of rail services across the Wales and Borders network will be suspended on 27 July, 18 August and 20 August,” Transport for Wales writes on its website, adding that more timetable information is to come.

During the first round of RMT strikes in June, just five services ran here - with no trains running west of Cardiff or north of Merthyr Tydfil - and it’s almost certain that we’ll see something similar next Wednesday and during the August strike days.

Why are RMT rail workers going on strike again? 

Announcing the extra strike days, RMT chief Mick Lynch said: “The rail industry and the government need to understand that this dispute will not simply vanish.

"They need to get serious about providing an offer on pay which helps deal with the cost-of-living crisis, job security for our members and provides good conditions at work.

"Recent proposals from Network Rail fell well short on pay and on safety around maintenance work.

“And the train operating companies have not even made us a pay offer in recent negotiations.

"Now Grant Shapps has abandoned his forlorn hopes for the job of Prime Minister, he can now get back to his day job and help sort this mess out.

"We remain open for talks, but we will continue our campaign until we reach a negotiated settlement."

The union is looking for its members to get a pay-rise in line with inflation - a measure of everyday living costs, currently at a record-breaking nine percent and set to climb further - but the maximum offer so far presented to them has been four percent, with two percent next year and a potential further two percent if workers achieve “modernisation milestones”.


This offer would still represent a real-terms paycut of at least two percent, amid reports that pay rates and living standards in the UK have fallen at the fastest rate on record.

UK Government Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, meanwhile, has accused the RMT of being “hellbent on causing further misery for people across the country”.

County Times: UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. (Picture: PA Wire)UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. (Picture: PA Wire)

When will train drivers be on strike, and how will the train driver strike affect journeys in Wales?

Train drivers with the ASLEF union have announced a one-day strike on Saturday 30th July, as part of a dispute with eight train operators, including Great Western Railway (GWR) and West Midlands Trains.

Welsh staff will not be taking part on this day, but services in Wales are expected to be much busier as a result of disruption over the border.

Train drivers at Transport For Wales will be balloted on whether to take strike action next month, with results to be announced shortly after voting closes on Thursday 25th August.

Why are train drivers going on strike? 

Like RMT staff, train drivers are taking action over below-inflation pay rises.

ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan has said that his members have been “forced” into striking after three years of real-terms pay cuts, but that the union is still open to negotiations.

He explained: “We don’t want to go on strike – strikes are the result of a failure of negotiation.

“We don’t want to inconvenience passengers – not least because our friends and families use public transport, too, and we believe in building trust in the railways in Britain – and we don’t want to lose money by going on strike.

“These companies are offering us nothing, saying their hands have been tied by the government. 

“We want an increase in line with the cost of living – we want to be able to buy, in 2022, what we could buy in 2021.

READ MORE: ‘I’ll be there’: striking workers' cries echo through Welsh history

“It’s not unreasonable to ask your employer to make sure you’re not worse off for a third successive year - especially as the train companies are doing very nicely out of Britain’s railways with handsome profits, dividends for shareholders, and big salaries for managers.”

Grant Shapps has called the strike plans “destructive”, adding: “Not only that but, by seemingly co-ordinating strike dates around the Commonwealth Games, it’s clear union bosses are determined to cause as much misery as possible and derail an event the whole country is looking forward to.”

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