Pensioner heckles striking train workers
SWNS

A pensioner unleashed a tirade of abuse at striking rail workers branding them "criminals" and "blackmailers".

The man carrying a shopping bag was seen berating the picket line on Tuesday morning as tempers flared as the worst rail strikes in 30 years brought Britain to a standstill this week.

Video taken at Watford Junction in Hertfordshire showed the pedestrian shouting at the RMT members and pointing his finger at them while claiming they are "breaking the law".

The Rail Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) Watford branch secretary Stewart Cameron, 52, was outside the station when the angry man unloaded at the rail workers.

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He said: “You are going to get people like that. You have got one person who is senior who was claiming we are breaking the law but to be honest the public support has been overwhelming. This is an official strike."

Thousands of rail workers downed tools on Tuesday, yesterday (Thurs) and tomorrow (Sat) as part of the biggest industrial action on the railways for a generation.

Around 40,000 RMT members across Network Rail and 13 train operators staged a walkout on Tuesday and are due to take industrial action tomorrow.

Just a fifth of trains ran and half of all lines were closed.

Around 10,000 London Underground staff also staged a walkout over proposals they claim will cut jobs, change working agreements and pensions.

The RMT is striking over what it believes is "an aggressive cuts to jobs, conditions, pay and pensions" and is asking for a seven per cent pay rise to cope with the cost of living crisis.

Network Rail said it needs to modernise ways of working and make the railways more efficient by cutting £2bn in spending.

But RMT bosses warned these reforms will mean the loss of around 2,500 jobs and rejected a three per cent pay offer.

Tomorrow there will be reduced service on the London Overground and Elizabeth line - where TfL uses national rail assets - as well as parts of the Tube.

Lines on the national network will only be open from 6.30am to 7.30pm.

No trains will run north from Edinburgh or Glasgow during the action and Network Rail said no passenger services will serve locations such as Penzance in Cornwall, Bournemouth in Dorset, Swansea in South Wales, Holyhead in North Wales, Chester in Cheshire and Blackpool, Lancashire.

Rail operators have warned that on the days between strikes as few as 12,000 services will run because signallers and control staff will not work overnight shifts that begin on the strike dates.

SWNS reporting by Fintan McGuinness and Kimberley Hackett.

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