The MP for Aylesbury, Rob Butler, has slammed the RMT union for calling a rail strike next week that will lead to massive disruption for people across Buckinghamshire.
“This strike is unnecessary and it is cruel.
“The workers in my constituency who need trains to get to their jobs, the pensioners who need to get to their hospital appointments and the school children who need to get to class and exams next week won't be able to do so because of the intransigence of unions who refuse to adapt to modern ways of working.
“After the Government provided huge sums of taxpayers' money to keep trains running during the pandemic, it is outrageous that unions are now punishing the British people in this way – and the Labour Party needs to condemn these strikes unequivocally.”
The RMT union has called strikes for Monday, Wednesday and Friday next week.
Local train operator Chiltern Railways has already warned passengers that they should only travel if absolutely essential because of the industrial action, and said there will be severe disruption to services.
In a vote in the House of Commons on Wednesday, the Labour Party refused to condemn the strikes.
“The vote in the House of Commons shows all too clearly that the Labour Party is on the side of unions, not the travelling public.
“Our railways are a proud part of our history, but they are struggling to keep pace with the needs of passengers post-pandemic – and are too often hamstrung by the antiquated and outdated work practices enforced by the trade unions.
“During the pandemic alone the Government delivered £16 billion of emergency funding to keep the railways running – equivalent to £600 for every family in the UK or £160,000 for every rail worker. This level of subsidy is unsustainable, and shows why reform is needed now.
“But instead of working with us to reform our railways to make them fit for the future, – Labour and their trade union paymasters have instead jumped the gun and moved straight to strike action.
“These strikes will hit millions of families in the pocket, costing them more to get to work. They will harm the economy, costing British businesses millions of pounds. And they will disrupt vital services, like operations on the NHS and GCSE exams.
“This Conservative Government is standing up for rail users and is on the side of the travelling public. Labour must stop playing political games, condemn these strikes now, and get behind our efforts to make our railways fit for the future.”