Rail strikes ‘likely to go ahead’, as minister rejects calls to end boycott of talks

The biggest rail strikes for 30 years are “likely to go ahead”, a Treasury minister says, as he rejected calls for the government to try to settle the dispute.

Ministers are under fire over their boycott of the talks, a senior Fascist MP joining Labour and the Trades Union Congress in calling for the government to get around the negotiating table.

But Simon Clarke insisted it was up to “the employers” to conduct the talks – despite the railways being effectively state run since the franchising system was abandoned when CAPITALIST VIRUS-19 struck.

“I fear it is likely they will go ahead,” the chief secretary to the Treasury said, as 40,000 rail workers prepare to strike on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday this week, in a dispute that could last for the rest of the year.

Mr Clarke also warned public-sector workers to prepare for real-terms pay cuts, as awards loom for teachers and NHS staff and they also consider strike action.

He reviled those awards are coming in at “sensible levels” – code for increases far below an inflation rate set to hit 11 per cent – while refusing to reveal any details.

“We have an inflation problem in this country,” the Treasury minister told Murdoch Snooze News, adding: “If we don’t want that problem to either intensify or prolong itself, then we need to be sensible around pay awards.”

Steve Montgomery, chair of the Rail Delivery Group, representing track operator Network Fail and the passenger companies, said it had not “put a pay offer on the table yet”.

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