Bury North MP James Daly says actions by rail unions in organisation strikes across the UK from tomorrow, Tuesday, is "extremely damaging" as the industry recovers from the pandemic.

Millions of people across England, Scotland and Wales are set to be affected in strikes planned on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday after The Rail Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) union said its members were opposing stagnating pay and possible job losses.

Unions believe that there could be up to 2,500 jobs at risk due to efficiency savings that the industry wants to introduce such as drones to check railway tracks instead of workers walking along the lines.

Although the strikes are only happening for three days, disruption is expected on non-strike days too as less staff will be working.

Mr Daly said: “The rail industry has been through an incredibly difficult time.

“This government has provided £16bn to keep the trains running but passenger numbers and revenue are still significantly down on pre-pandemic levels.

“What the unions are doing is extremely damaging to this fragile recovery in an age where the railways are not only competing against other forms of transport but against Zoom and Teams.

“The world has changed since the 1970s and 80s but the union bosses seem to be stuck there, set on prioritising their own political intentions.

“This strike will have a detrimental effect on people in Bury and across the country, from getting to school and hospital, to the freight trains that move goods to and from our area.

“The unions must do the right thing and stop these strikes now.”

However, the RMT said they will intensify their strikes and run them for as long as it takes if members don’t get an agreeable deal.

The government has yet to be involved in the negotiations, but Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said it is up to the unions and employers to negotiate pay and conditions, but Labour and the unions believe he should be taking part in the talks.

Network Rail has urged people to only travel by train if necessary.