Mick Lynch says UK government is 'losing the argument' over strikes branding them as “incompetent” and “incapable of understanding the railway”

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch has described laws to block industrial action as a “symbol” that the Government is “losing the argument” and that the UK government is “incompetent” and “incapable of understanding the railway”.

Speaking from the picket line at Euston Station on Friday, Mr Lynch told BBC Breakfast: “It is really important in a democratic society that we have free trade unions that represent working people and represent the biggest democratic force in this country.

“There is no bigger movement than the trade union movement, six or seven million people in it.”

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He said of the new laws: “What this is a symbol of is that the Government are losing the argument.

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT), joins union members on the picket line outside Euston station in London during a rail strike in a long-running dispute over jobs and pensions. Picture date: Friday January 6, 2023.

“They’ve lost the argument on austerity and pay, and the state of our national public services.

“And instead they want to close that argument down by closing down the unions and stopping us from campaigning against poverty.”

has said that the Government’s new industrial action legislation is a threat to sack union members if they refuse to go to work.

Speaking from the picket line at Euston Station on Friday, he told the Press Association “The railway service is in desperate straits.

“The companies that run it and the Government that oversees it have shown that they are incompetent and incapable of understanding the railway and running the railway on a daily basis.

“When we are not on strike, the passengers are told, in this station and every other station, that due to shortages of staff trains aren’t running.

“At the same time, they say to me at the negotiating table that they want to make thousands of your members redundant.

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“So, there is something desperately wrong with the way this railway is being run. But there is something desperately wrong with the way all public services are being run, and that’s why the workforce in these services are in rebellion now.

“The Government has got to get a grip and come to the table with all these disputes, and say ‘we want to work with you and settle these disputes and get a deal’.”

Rail passengers face a fourth consecutive day of travel disruption on Friday because of a strike by thousands of workers in a dispute over jobs, pay and conditions.