PROTESTERS have been told to leave Glasgow’s Central station after staging a noisy demonstration in support of striking rail workers.

Members of trade unions including RMT, Unison, Unite and the EIS entered the largely empty station on Wednesday morning holding banners, chanting and playing loud music.

Supporters of the UK-wide rail strikes held a large banner reading “solidarity with the strikes” and sang and danced along to a version of Freed from Desire with lyrics about the RMT union.

“The RMT’s on fire, Network Rail is terrified,” the group chanted.

Police arrived minutes into the protest and advised the protesters to leave the station and turn off the music, but the singing and chanting continued.

Picket lines are being mounted outside other railway stations across Scotland including at Edinburgh Waverley, at depots, and outside Network Rail’s head office in Glasgow.

July 27 was the first day back on the picket lines for members of the RMT union after three days of strike action on June 23, 25, and 27.

More than 40,000 workers across the UK are expected to have walked out. Network Rail said only around half of Britain’s rail network will be open on strike days, with a very limited service running on lines that will only be open from around 07:30 to 18:30.

A limited number of trains are running on key routes between Glasgow and Edinburgh; Edinburgh and Bathgate; Glasgow and Hamilton/Larkhall; and Glasgow and Lanark.

Travellers have also been warned to expect disruption on the morning of Thursday, July 28.

The RMT's Scotland organiser, Gordon Martin, said that the way negotiations are going it looked likely that there would be further pickets on August 18 and 20.

National Rail said that they had put a pay deal on the table which would have been worth an 8% pay rise over two years. The firm said this came with a no-compulsory-redundancy guarantee and other benefits but said the RMT left the talks.

The National: RMT general secretary Mick Lynch

The trade union's general secretary, Mick Lynch (above), claimed Network Rail had "upped the ante, threatening to impose compulsory redundancies and unsafe 50% cuts to maintenance work if we did not withdraw our planned strike action".

Only around one in five trains will run on Wednesday, on around half the UK-wide network, with areas outside of Scotland's central belt having no trains all day.

In England, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) has also announced a strike by its members at Avanti West Coast on Wednesday, while members of the drivers’ union Aslef at seven companies will strike on Saturday.

Grant Shapps claimed that in his three years as Transport Secretary there has not been a single day when unions have not been in dispute by threatening or taking industrial action, with around 60 separate disputes in 2022 alone.

“Today, union bosses are once again trying to cause as much disruption as possible to the day-to-day lives of millions of hardworking people around the country,” he said.

“What’s more, it has been cynically timed to disrupt the start of the Commonwealth Games and crucial Euro 2022 semi-finals, in a deliberate bid to impact the travel of thousands trying to attend events the whole country is looking forward to."

The Commonwealth Games begins in Birmingham on July 28, while the Euro 2022 semi final between Germany and France is due to be played in Milton Keynes on July 27.

Passengers are facing severe disruption across Scotland’s railways due to fresh strikes by thousands of workers in the bitter row over jobs, pay and conditions.

Industrial action by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at Network Rail began on Wednesday morning, with just five services running across the country.

A limited number of trains are running on key routes between Glasgow and Edinburgh; Edinburgh and Bathgate; Glasgow and Hamilton/Larkhall; and Glasgow and Lanark.

Picket lines are being mounted outside railway stations across Scotland, including at Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley, and at depots.

A protest is planned outside Network Rail’s head office in Glasgow.

ScotRail has urged passengers to check their journeys before travelling and only do so if necessary.

Trains are expected to be disrupted on Thursday morning as well, with a later start to services as employees return to duties.

The National:

Scotland’s transport minister said the UK Government needs to “inject the political willing” to resolve disputes across the rail network – but she insisted there is a distinction between the current strikes and the action taken by ScotRail staff in the last few weeks.

Appearing on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Jenny Gilruth (above) said it is “vitally important” for all parties to work together to find a resolution.

But she said the Department for Transport’s stance – that it is not the job of UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to resolve the problem himself – is “interesting”.

Gilruth said: “You will recall that I was repeatedly called upon by opposition members, including those in the Conservative Party, to involve myself directly in the dispute that we’ve had in Scotland.

“I think it is important to draw a distinction between the dispute in Scotland, which was resolved and we have reinstated the full timetable in Scotland.

“That was done amicably and with respect on both sides, and what we’ve seen in the UK-wide dispute seems to be quite a different approach in the UK Government. with some belligerence from the UK Government."