‘WFH = watching Eastbourne’: Workers voice joy at prospect of ‘sleeping in’ amid rail strike misery

Workers across the country are looking forward to napping, sleeping in and watching the tennis tomorrow as crippling rail strikes mean scores of employees will be allowed to work from home (WFH). 

Social media users heaped praise on the militant Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) last night, telling them: ‘Strike on brothers!’, if it meant they would not have to get up earlier to get into the office. 

It comes as thousands of members of RMT at Network Rail and 13 train operators are set to walk out today, Thursday and Saturday – in what hospitality chiefs believe will cost the tourism, leisure and theatre industries some £1billion in lost earnings.

Services across the UK will be affected all week, with just one in five trains running on strike days, primarily on main lines and only for around 11 hours. 

Talks between RMT and Network Rail were held into Monday afternoon, but both sides remained deadlocked over a deal. 

The RMT say the pay proposals were a ‘2 per cent down payment with the possibility of 1 per cent more’. 

It added that the train operators have now made an offer and there is no further offer from Network Rail following one rejected last Friday. London Underground workers from the RMT and Unite unions are also going on strike today. 

And many workers are encouraging the action, with one tweeting that they had in effect received a ‘massive pay rise’ due to their savings on travel costs, while others boasted about enjoying ‘sleeping in.’ 

One brazenly admitted: ‘Tomorrow’s tube strike = WFH = watching Eastbourne.’ 

Another said they were looking forward to being able to ‘take it easy’.

Passengers at London Waterloo station wait for their trains to arrive on Monday ahead of RMT union walkouts this week

Workers across the country are looking forward to napping, sleeping in and watching the tennis tomorrow as crippling rail strikes mean scores of employees will be allowed to work from home (WFH).

Workers across the country are looking forward to napping, sleeping in and watching the tennis tomorrow as crippling rail strikes mean scores of employees will be allowed to work from home (WFH).

Millions of people not lucky enough to WFH will be forced to battle into work on foot, bike or in rammed buses due to the three days of strikes. 

The strike has been designed so there will also be severe disruption for on non-strike days too, causing six days of chaos. 

But there are some who are celebrating being to work from home for the week – and a tacit admission by some that they will be spending more time sunbathing than getting on with their jobs in the coming days.

One tweeted: ‘Get to work from home this week. Keep up the good non-work union chaps’. 

Another said: ‘A whole wfh week, perhaps the strikes aren’t so bad’. 

One critic suggested that the union members walking out over pay this week will be doing so to top up their tans while another shared a picture of the blue skies over Britain and said: ‘Thanks to you brave lads I get to WFH in the sun’. 

there are some who are celebrating being to work from home for the week - and a tacit admission by some that they will be spending more time sunbathing than getting on with their jobs in the coming days.

there are some who are celebrating being to work from home for the week - and a tacit admission by some that they will be spending more time sunbathing than getting on with their jobs in the coming days.

There are some who are celebrating being to work from home for the week – and a tacit admission by some that they will be spending more time sunbathing than getting on with their jobs in the coming days.

Some shared pictures of their drinks and breakfasts.

RMT boss Mick Lynch warned yesterday that the UK could see a series of rail strikes over the next couple of months if a deal is not reached. 

He said: ‘Our campaign will run as long as it needs to run until we get a settlement acceptable to our people. Whenever we get an offer that is tenable we will put that to our members in a referendum.’ 

Asked if the strikes could last for months if a deal is not reached Mr Lynch replied: ‘I think it will, yes.’

However, Downing Street argued that the strikes will not resolve the issues faced on the railways. 

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘This is deeply disappointing, that these disruptive, these self-defeating strikes will take place this week. Striking does nothing to address the long-standing issues that we need to sort to make sure our railway, that the public use and treasure, is fit for the long term.’

Some social media users were equally critical last night. 

Some social media users were critical of the strikes last night, accusing them of 'causing misery to the vulnerable'

Some social media users were critical of the strikes last night, accusing them of ‘causing misery to the vulnerable’ 

One branded the RMT awful and called for the automation of trains, while another said: ‘The only people they are going to effect are the vulnerable and their care staff travelling to work.’   

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps yesterday insisted it ‘takes two to tango’ as he urged union bosses to return to the negotiating table and stop the ‘callous’ strikes.

He branded the action ‘callous’ and admitted his daughter, who is due to take an exam, will be among those affected.

The Transport Secretary took aim at the RMT during a statement to the House of Commons, but he also came under fresh pressure to explain why the Government is not directly involved in the talks.

Mr Shapps argued the Government is ‘not the employer’ and it is for the train operating companies, Network Rail and the unions to come to an agreement.

Shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh argued that the strikes going ahead will represent a ‘catastrophic failure of leadership’.

She said: ‘Ministers owe it to all those impacted by this serious disruption to get around the table for last ditch talks, to sort it out and avert this disruption.’

‘Not only has he been boycotting the talks, he’s tied the hands of those at the table. He and his department failed to give the train operating companies, a party to these talks, any mandate to negotiate whatsoever.

‘These talks are a sham because ministers have set them up to fail.’

Mr Shapps replied: ‘That was a lot of words to avoid using… the four words “I condemn the strikes”.’

He added: ‘The unions wrongly told their workers that there would be no pay rise: there will be a pay rise, because the pay freeze is coming to an end, so that was untrue.’

The Transport Secretary also said RMT general-secretary Mick Lynch had made clear he had ‘walked out’ of the talks with employers, adding: ‘We are ready to speak, we want to see this settled, pay offers have been put down, the modernisation is required in return, it takes two to tango.’

Mr Lynch earlier said: ‘The RMT National Executive Committee has now found both sets of proposals to be unacceptable and it is now confirmed that the strike action scheduled this week will go ahead. It is clear that the Tory Government, after slashing £4billion of funding from National Rail and Transport for London, has now actively prevented a settlement to this dispute.

‘The rail companies have now proposed pay rates that are massively under the relevant rates of inflation, coming on top of the pay freezes of the past few years. At the behest of the Government, companies are also seeking to implement thousands of job cuts and have failed to give any guarantee against compulsory redundancies.’

Train cancellations started early on Monday afternoon ahead of the worst shutdown of Britain’s railways for 30 years from today that will cause another effective lockdown for Britain’s already stuttering economy amid union barons’ threat to hold strikes up until Christmas.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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