Thousands of rail workers are to walk out and “shut down the system” for three days this month in what is the biggest strike since 1989.
In what is already threatening travel chaos for commuters across the UK, and those heading to some of the country’s major events, including the Glastonbury Festival, the RMT Union officially confirmed yesterday that over 50,000 railway workers will walk out on 21, 23 and 25 June due to what is said to be the “inability of the rail employers to come to a negotiated settlement” with RMT.
The RMT Union says the strike action is because Network Rail and the train operating companies have subjected their staff to multiyear pay freezes, and plan to cut thousands of jobs – which will make the railways “unsafe”.
Despite “intense talks” with the rail bosses, RMT says it has not been able to secure a pay proposal nor a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies.
As a result, this means that on 21 June, over 50,000 railway workers will walk out, includes those working for Network Rail, 13 train operating companies, and the London Underground, and then on 23 and 25 June, up to 40,000 workers will strike.
Even though only three days of action have been called, the RMT Union says the strike will affect the national railway network for the entire week.
“Railway workers have been treated appallingly and despite our best efforts in negotiations, the rail industry with the support of the government has failed to take their concerns seriously,” explained Mick Lynch – General Secretary at RMT Union.
“We have a cost of living crisis, and it is unacceptable for railway workers to either lose their jobs or face another year of a pay freeze when inflation is at 11.1pc and rising [so] our union will now embark on a sustained campaign of industrial action, which will shut down the railway system.
“Rail companies are making at least £500m a year in profits, whilst fat cat rail bosses have been paid millions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This unfairness is fuelling our members anger and their determination to win a fair settlement”.
He added that RMT is open to “meaningful negotiations” with rail bosses and ministers ahead of the planned strike action later this month, but they will need to come up with new proposals to prevent “months of disruption” on the railways.
Featured Image – Network Rail
Police appeal for information regarding ‘serious assault’ around Old Trafford before United game in October
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are appealing for fresh information on a “serious assault” committed around the Old Trafford area earlier this year.
GMP issued a press release on Friday, 9 December, asking for members of the public to come forward and share any details they might have on the attack carried along Seymour Grove in Trafford around 1:30pm on 16 October 2022.
They go on to explain that “a man in his 20s was assaulted by a group of unknown males” on the way to the game at Old Trafford, adding that “it is believed that the suspects were also attending the Manchester United vs Newcastle United match.”
It remains unclear whether or not the assailants were travelling fans in town to support the away side but GMP are looking to speak to the men pictured as they may be able to help with enquiries.
As detailed in the statement, “the victim suffered a severely broken jaw, a broken nose, numerous cuts to the face, and damage to the nerves of four teeth which he is likely to need further medical treatment for.” Terrible stuff.
The authorities are continuing to investigate the Seymour Grove assault after having followed up on a number of lines of enquiry since the incident took place and are now asking for the public’s help.
Anyone with information, or anyone who may have footage/images, or can identify the men in the photos, can contact Greater Manchester Police on 101, quoting log number 1589 on 16/10/22; or, alternatively use the Live Chat service HERE.
Alternatively, information can be shared anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Featured Image — Greater Manchester Police/David Dixon (via Geograph)
Football fans call out ‘tone-deaf’ FA TikTok for mocking ‘life-threatening’ head injury
Football fans are calling out the official FA Cup TikTok account for mocking a serious head injury suffered by a Stockport County player earlier this week.
The Hatters beat Charlton Athletic in fine fashion with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday, 7 December, with Will Collar’s hattrick (the club’s first since 2019) sending them through to the next round of the cup.
However, another notable moment from the night was right back Macauley Southam-Hales’ collision with advertising hoarders after a shove from Charlton captain George Dobson.
As the likes of County fan Joel Ward wrote on Twitter, many online were quick to slam the clip for joking about an injury that hospitalised the player, the consensus being that it isn’t a “great look” for the FA.
While many reacting in the comments recognised that Dobson didn’t intend to hurt Southam-Hales by shepherding the ball out of play, the Stockport defender does hit the predominantly metal structure with some force and was left in clear discomfort following the smash.
The video itself has since been removed from the official account following the backlash but people are still reacting as the clip continues to be reshared on social media.
The clip was branded as everything from “disgusting” and “disgraceful” to “simply unbelievable”.
What’s most concerning is that despite the recent push to promote awareness surrounding concussions, brain trauma and even heading the ball – which, historically, haven’t been properly monitored in football – whoever posted the video on behalf of the FA didn’t consider the very serious nature of the incident.
As alluded to above, perhaps what makes the post even more shocking and tone-deaf is that it comes just weeks after Bath City player forward Alex Fletcher was placed in intensive care following an almost identical accident.
The 23-year-old underwent life-saving brain surgery and although he has since been discharged from the hospital, he is said to have a “long road to recovery ahead of him”.
County confirmed that despite being the all-clear pitchside, Southam-Hales was taken to the hospital as a precaution after he suffered significant swelling around the neck area. Nevertheless, as we know all too well, it could have been much worse.
As for the FA, they have now apologised for the inappropriate attempt at humour, confirming that they have removed the video from all official accounts, admitting that “it should never have been published and assuring that they will “review [their] processes to ensure this never happens again.”
You can watch the full highlights from Stockport County vs Charlton Athletic HERE but we’d recommend you watch Alan Shearer reminding everyone who plays football to be more vigilant when it comes to head injuries.