Labour Market

Festive strike action represents a long-term risk to British rail


In the Media

Prof. Len Shackleton writes for CapX

Energy and Environment

Andy Mayer quoted in The Mail

Prof. Len Shackleton quoted in The Express

IEA Editorial and Research Fellow Professor Len Shackleton has been quoted in The Daily Express warning that the RMT’s Christmas industrial action may have dire long-term impacts.

Len wrote:

“The union leadership seems inclined to continue strike action well into next year and it seems unlikely that the government is willing to budge.

“The disputes are not just inflicting short-term misery on rail users, but are surely damaging the industry’s long-term prospects – which means job cuts further down the line. Sooner or later union members are going to get worried about this.”

Len also questioned the viability of a protracted dispute given the negative impact of this year’s strikes on workers’ wages, saying:

“They will also be worried by the continuing costs in terms of pay lost during strikes. Assuming their employers have made appropriate deductions for strike days, I calculate that RMT members will have lost about five percent of their pay this year, a sizeable chunk when set against the likely gains from any marginally enhanced settlement.

“It may be that continuing loss of pay and fear for jobs will begin to erode support for further strike action in the New Year. Christmas rail chaos may be the RMT’s last hurrah.”

The full article can be read here.