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When train, doctor and airport strikes are a planned for the rest of this month

Rail workers, junior doctors and bus drivers have already walked out in August, as strike action continues to disrupt key services across Britain.

And more strikes are on the way in the second half of the month, with the railways and NHS again set to be hit, along with Gatwick airport.

Here’s everything you need to know about the major strikes happening in the last two weeks of August.

Rail strike

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has announced two new strike dates in its continuing dispute with rail companies over pay, job security and working conditions.

More than 20,000 workers are set to walk out on Saturday 26 August and Saturday 2 September at the following 14 train companies, bringing much of the rail network to a standstill:

  • Avanti West Coast
  • c2c
  • Chiltern Railways
  • Cross Country Trains
  • East Midlands Railway
  • Great Western Railway
  • Greater Anglia
  • LNER
  • Northern Trains
  • Southeastern
  • South Western Railway
  • Transpennine Express
  • West Midlands Trains and GTR (including Gatwick Express)

Some operators will be unable to run any trains, while others will offer a significantly reduced service.

The National Rail journey planner will update closer to the time, advising passengers on how services will be affected on strike days.

For journeys on Saturday 26 August, you can check your journey from Friday 18 August. For journeys on Saturday 2 September you can check your journey from Friday 25 August.

Doctors’ strike

NHS consultants in England will strike on Thursday 24 and Friday 25 August, and will also walk out on Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 September if the Government continues to “refuse to agree to pay talks” and present the profession with a credible offer, the British Medical Association said.

They are disputing the 6 per cent pay rise the Government have previously announced, saying consultants’ pay has fallen in real terms by 35 per cent since 2008 due to a series of below-inflation rises.

The September walkouts will consist of “Christmas Day” cover, whereby emergency services will remain in place.

Thousands of operations, procedures and appointments will likely have to be cancelled and rescheduled as during the previous round of strikes.

The announcement comes weeks after junior doctors also walked out of hospitals for five days – the longest strike in NHS history.

NHS Providers’ Miriam Deakin said the strike meant more disruption for patients and will pile on pressure to the NHS.

“Over 835,000 operations and appointments have been delayed since December due to nine months of back-to-back industrial action,” she said.

“But the knock-on disruption will be felt for months to come with many more patients not being booked in for appointments during strike days and others having their appointments rescheduled.”

Gatwick airport strike

More than 230 Unite members working for ground handling company Red Handling and for Wilson James, a firm that provides passenger assistance, are taking part in industrial action at Gatwick in a dispute over pay.

Red Handling workers are set to walk out on:

  • 18 August (12.01am) to 21 August (11.59pm)
  • 25 August (12.01am) to 28 August (11.59pm)

Wilson James workers are due to strike:

  • 18 August (12.01am) to 20 August (11.59pm)
  • 22 August (12.01am) to 24 August (11.59pm)

Unite has claimed that 216 flights could be delayed or disrupted, potentially affecting 45,000 passengers.

Red Handling provides ground handling support for Norse Atlantic, Norwegian, Delta, TAP Air Portugal and Saudia.

Customers are unlikely to receive compensation for disruption resulting from these strikes as the workers are not airline staff. The strikes are likely to be considered an extraordinary circumstance.

However, airlines have a duty of care to passengers and, under UK law, must provide care and assistance to passengers experiencing significant flight delays.

The carrier must offer a reasonable amount of food and drink (passengers may be given vouchers to use at airport shops and restaurants), accommodation where a delay is overnight, transport to and from that accommodation, and a means for passengers to communicate (such as refunding the cost of each passenger’s calls).

Airlines are required by law to provide assistance after a certain length of delay, depending on the distance of the flight:

  • For flights under 1,500km – a delay of more than two hours
  • For flights of 1,500km-3,500km – more than three hours
  • For flights of over 3,500km – more than four hours

If an airline is unable to arrange reasonable care and assistance, then passengers have the right to organise this for themselves and claim the costs back from their airline. Customers should hold onto receipts in this instance in order to make the claim.

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