Leeds rail strikes: Agency workers could be called in to replace striking rail staff, report says
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Labour's Tony Blair introduced a restriction on using agency staff to stand-in for striking workers when he was prime minister but Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has admitted that ministers are looking at ways to repeal this.
It comes as industrial strikes next week threaten to 'shut down the country’s railway network' in the biggest strike for 33 years.
Over 50,000 railway workers will walkout as part of three days of national strike action later this month, in the biggest dispute on the network since 1989.
Government ministers previously pondered introducing new laws requiring a minimum number of rail staff to work during a strike.
This would however require an Act of Parliament, so would be a slower process than repealing the law banning agency staff from filling in.
"I can't over-stress our determination to get the right outcome for the travelling public in the end on this, even if the unions insist on putting the country through considerable pain in the meantime," Grant Shapps told The Sunday Telegraph.
"If this action continues, then these further measures certainly would come in during this particular dispute, if it can't be resolved."
The strike action will take place across the country next week on Tuesday 21, Thursday 23 and Saturday, June 25.
Each strike will last for a 24 hour period although the delays on these days will likely have a domino effect over following days.
80 per cent of all trains are expected to be cancelled with vital freight services running during the day, taking priority over passengers.