ABERCONWY MP Robin Millar has criticised the ongoing RMT rail strikes this week, referring to them as a “stone age tool in a modern age”.

Nationwide rail strikes are in full effect this week, with a dispute between RMT and Network Rail resulting in workers across the country picketing and refusing to work in an effort to have their demands for better working conditions met.

These demands include better pay, shorter working hours and a pay rise system – RMT have said there have been no pay rises for the last two to three years.

The strikes are also affecting Transport for Wales, with no connections in North Wales running on June 21, 23 and 25.

Aberconwy MS Robin Millar has released a statement condemning the strikes, saying he is “deeply concerned” about their effect on young people undertaking their exams, tourism and businesses.

Mr Millar’s statement said: “I am deeply concerned about the damage and disruption that the week of planned RMT workers rail strikes will cause.

“These strikes are inconsiderate – those striking are already some of the best paid in the public sector. But those affected are already feeling the greatest pressure from the rising cost of living. Also affected are young people in the middle of their exams, tourists visiting on holiday and the businesses trying to serve them.

“These strikes are cynical – they are politically motivated, fuelled by outdated grievances, coming at a time of record investment in rail and after unprecedented support during the pandemic. Rail stands at the threshold to a new golden era – but the unions want to drag it backwards.

“These strikes are short sighted – at such a critical time, recovering from a pandemic, this risks a loss of public confidence in rail services which will only hurt rail workers themselves.

“These strikes are fuelled by out-of-date narratives, tired grievances resurrected for narrow political gain.”

North Wales rail passengers have been advised to only travel June 22, 24 and 26 if absolutely necessary.

Transport for Wales (TfW) is not in dispute with RMT but the industrial action resulting from the dispute between RMT and Network Rail means TfW will be unable to operate rail services on Network Rail infrastructure.

“The railway strikes are the wrong thing at the wrong time, a relic of a bygone age – a stone age tool in a modern age,” added Mr Millar.

“The fact is that although this a dispute about wages, it is being brought by one of the better paid parts of the public sector. The average salary of those going on strike is £43,747.

“I cannot support the Union leaders in calling strikes that have been timed to inflict maximum disruption on our children’s futures.

“The railways should be showing their relevance to us, not power over us.

“The strikes will bring disruption and distress – but to a world that is rapidly changing around the railways.

“If disruption and upset is the aim of the RMT union then certainly, they will inflict enormous inconvenience and distress on workers, businesses, families and more – the same ones who have already endured so much over the last two years.

“If ransom is the aim of the unions, then they need to realise that shutting down the railways will no longer paralyse our economy.

“The only people the unions are hurting in the long term, is their own members.”

MORE: How North Wales will be affected by the upcoming train strikes