Train rail generic strike

Retailers experienced losses of up to £1,000 this week after the UK’s rail network ground to a halt over the worst industrial action in the sector in 30 years.

The strike, called by the RMT Union, saw workers responsible for train lines and infrastructure walk out on Tuesday in a dispute over pay, with further action on Thursday and Saturday.

Workers on London Underground also staged a 24-hour strike on Tuesday. Retailers operating in city centres and transport hubs took the brunt of the loss in footfall, with some having to close completely.

One such retailer was Heena Morzaria, who runs Station News with her husband at Wanstead tube station in east London. She told betterRetailing: “We couldn’t open as we are inside the station which was closed. Over Tuesday, and with a late opening planned on Wednesday, we lost around £1,000. There’s nothing we can do. We have a lot of commuter footfall, but also custom from the residential area and if it carries on, it’s worrying.”

However, those in some suburbs and residential areas said trade had not been affected and may even increase as more people work from home.

Rav Garcha, who runs six Nisa stores throughout the Midlands said: “It’s too early to judge the impact. We may have increased trade, but this week the hot weather will also play a part in any uptick.”

RMT engaged in talks with the government in an effort to prevent the walk out, but they reportedly failed.

General secretary Mick Lynch warned further action could be taken if a settlement is not agreed.

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