A nationwide strike throughout Britain’s railways could have a catastrophic impact on the reside music and occasions business if it goes forward later this summer time, commerce our bodies have warned.
Greater than 50,000 staff at Community Rail and 13 prepare firms, represented by the RMT union, are set to walk out on 21 June in a dispute over job cuts and pay freezes, with additional strikes deliberate for 23 June and 25 June.
About 10,000 London Underground staff are additionally set to strike on 21 June in a separate dispute over pensions and job losses. The strikes are anticipated to trigger extreme disruption and are available on the peak of pageant season, with Glastonbury happening in Somerset from 22 June for the primary time because the pandemic.
GWR, the prepare firm serving Fortress Cary, the station closest to Glastonbury, has mentioned it hopes to keep up timetabled trains from London Paddington all through the pageant. However it mentioned different elements of its community had been more likely to be “extra affected” by the strike motion and that clients “might have to contemplate alternative routes to journey to a station serving Fortress Cary”.
Nationwide Specific, which is offering coaches from 70 places, mentioned it had seen a “vital improve” in bookings for journey on the dates of the deliberate rail strikes and was “working arduous to extend availability the place doable”.
Different occasions, together with a live performance sequence with artists together with Elton John at Hyde Park and the UK Athletics Championships in Manchester, are additionally scheduled for that week.
Michael Kill, from the Evening Time Industries Affiliation, which represents nightclubs, occasion venues and pageant organisers mentioned the proposed industrial motion may have a “catastrophic” affect on the sector, which he mentioned was “very fragile” following the pandemic and amid the price of dwelling disaster. “It simply looks like at each nook there’s one other barrier,” he mentioned.
Jon Collins, chief government of Reside, an umbrella physique for commerce associations within the reside music and leisure enterprise, mentioned the motion might be devastating for occasion operators already struggling to recuperate from the pandemic, with smaller companies more likely to be hardest hit.
“Whereas our members are understanding of the RMT’s considerations, there’s a frustration that this has come at a time once we’re making an attempt to rebuild the reside music business after virtually two years of closure,” he mentioned.
“It’s not simply the Glastonburys of this world. It’s the smaller festivals and gigs, the place individuals have paid £8 or £15 for a ticket, the place clients might imagine, ‘I’m going to need to not go.’ Meaning the occasion might go forward however it’s possible you’ll not make the revenue you had been hoping for, which might be business-critical on this 12 months of all years.”
Asserting the strike on 7 June, the RMT mentioned railway staff had been handled “appallingly” and that regardless of its “greatest efforts” in negotiations, “the rail business, with the assist of the federal government, has did not take their considerations critically”.
Common secretary Mick Lynch mentioned: “Rail firms are making a minimum of £500m a 12 months in income, whereas fats cat rail bosses have been paid thousands and thousands throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. This unfairness is fuelling our members’ anger and their dedication to win a good settlement.
“RMT is open to significant negotiations with rail bosses and ministers, however they might want to provide you with new proposals to stop months of disruption on our railways.”