SOME people may have to alter their Christmas plans this year as RMT Union members plan around four weeks of strikes.

Members of the union will take part in a series of 48-hour strikes next month and in January after the union and industry bosses failed to reach a new settlement.

More than 40,000 members across the UK will strike on December 13-14, 16-17, and on January 3-4, and 6-7.

In addition to the strike action, there will also be an overtime ban from December 18 to January 2 – meaning RMT members will be taking industrial action over a four-week period.

For commuters in the Borders, although ScotRail – which operates services on the Borders Railway – has confirmed that none of its staff is participating in this latest action, it is warning its customers to plan ahead.

Sharing to Twitter this afternoon (November 22), a ScotRail spokesperson said: "While no ScotRail staff are involved, the impact on our services is likely to be severe.

"We will update you in the coming days with full details."

According to the RMT Union – which previously suspended industrial action to allow for negotiations – no "meaningful offer" had been made to members by Network Rail of Rail Delivery Group.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "This latest round of strikes will show how important our members are to the running of this country and will send a clear message that we want a good deal on job security, pay and conditions for our people.

"We have been reasonable, but it is impossible to find a negotiated settlement when the dead hand of government is presiding over these talks.

"The employers are in disarray and saying different things to different people sometimes at the same time. This whole process has become a farce that only the new Secretary of State can resolve. When I meet him later this week, I will deliver that message.

"In the meantime, our message to the public is we are sorry to inconvenience you, but we urge you to direct your anger and frustration at the government and railway employers during this latest phase of action.

"We call upon all trades unionists in Britain to take a stand and fight for better pay and conditions in their respective industries. And we will seek to coordinate strike action and demonstrations where we can.

"Working people across our class need a pay rise and we are determined to win that for our members in RMT."

Reacting to the RMT's announcement, a spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group said: “We made real progress over the last fortnight of talks and for the first time in months we can see the outline of a credible deal.

“Further strikes, especially in the run up to Christmas, will disrupt the first normal festive season our passengers have been able to look forward to since the Covid pandemic, taking even more money out of the pockets of railway staff, and will cause huge damage to the hospitality and retail sectors dependent on this time of the year for their businesses. We owe it to them to stay round the table.

“Industrial action has already cost the industry millions in lost revenue, is stalling its post-pandemic recovery, and threatening its long-term sustainability.

“We are asking the RMT to stay at the negotiating table, work with us towards a fair deal and end a dispute that is harming passengers, the industry, and their members.”