RAIL staff joined an official picket today (June 21) at Taunton Station as part of the UK wide rail strike.

A group of over 10 people joined the picked in Taunton and were receiving cheers and jeers from drivers from their cars on Station Road.

The group made clear that this strike is not just about pay for them, it also about safety on the railway across Network Rail.

Members of the group said they will be back once again later in the week as the strike continues.

This picket is just one of many occuring all across the UK this week as the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union stage what is expected to be the biggest strike in the industry for decades.

Millions of people are suffering disruption as only a fifth of trains are running and half of lines are closed as around 40,000 members of the RMT union at Network Rail and 13 train operators have walked out.

Somerset County Gazette: The picket line at Taunton station.The picket line at Taunton station.

RMT general-secretary Mick Lynch said: “Today’s turnout at picket lines has been fantastic and exceeded expectations in our struggle for job security, defending conditions and a decent pay rise.

“Our members will continue the campaign and have shown outstanding unity in the pursuit of a settlement to this dispute.

“RMT members are leading the way for all workers in this country who are sick and tired of having their pay and conditions slashed by a mixture of big business profits and Government policy.

“Now is the time to stand up and fight for every single railway worker in this dispute that we will win.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a meeting of the Cabinet that reforms are vital for the rail industry and passengers.

He said: “I say this to the country as a whole, we need to get ready to stay the course.

“To stay the course, because these reforms, these improvements in the way we run our railways are in the interests of the travelling public, they will help to cut costs for farepayers up and down the country.”