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Strike action cancelled after the Queen’s death

Some of the UK’s biggest strikes have been called off after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Unions representing Royal Mail postal workers and rail staff said that “out of respect for her service to the country and her family” they had chosen to cancel immediate strike action.

Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-serving monarch, died at Balmoral aged 96, after reigning for 70 years.

The planned strike action by postal workers on Friday 9 September and RMT rail worker walkouts on 15 and 17 September has been suspended.

The train drivers’ union Aslef has also postponed a strike planned for 15 September.

The Rail Delivery Group said train timetables would be normal now that strikes were not going ahead.

A spokesperson from the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators, said it welcomed the decision by the RMT to call off next week’s strike action at a time of “national mourning”.

“The whole railway family is united in sending our condolences to the Royal Family,” the spokesperson said.

Network Rail has confirmed that train services will run as normal next week.

It will also look at any scheduled weekend engineering works that fall within the “laying in state period” and scale it back. Works might be postponed if they prevent people from travelling to London to pay their respects.

The RMT union intends to reschedule the strikes, but has not yet decided when. It would need to give two weeks’ notice of any action, as would the Aslef union.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said that his union joined the “whole nation in paying its respects” to Queen Elizabeth.

“We express our deepest condolences to her family, friends and the country,” he added.

Train drivers’ union Aslef said: “In light of the sad news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, Aslef is postponing its industrial action on 15 September. We express our deepest condolences to her family, friends and the country.”

The TSSA rail union has also cancelled planned industrial action for September and said it would be “respecting the period of public mourning”.

The Trades Unions Congress said it would postpone its annual congress until later this autumn following the death of the Queen.

A spokesman said it was “as a mark of respect” and recognised “her many years of dedicated service to the country”.

Staff in the CWU, which represents postal workers, had been on strike on Thursday. But the union cancelled Friday’s planned walkout after the Queen’s death was announced.

CWU general secretary Dave Ward said the action had been cancelled, “following the very sad news of the passing of the Queen, and out of respect for her service to the country and her family”.

Workers across a range of industries including BT call centre staff, Openreach engineers, railway workers and barristers have walked out in recent weeks in pay disputes as wages fail to keep up with soaring prices.

The Criminal Bar Association said that planned barristers’ demonstrations next week had been cancelled “out of respect”.

But it added that there had been “no movement” from the government so industrial action would continue.

Read more:
Strike action cancelled after the Queen’s death

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