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RMT announces 4 weeks of industrial action

THE UK's Rail Workers Union, RMT will put on a series of 48 hour strikes in December and January, after industry bosses failed to offer any new deals to reach a settlement. The strikes will see over 40,000 RMT members across Network and 14 Train Operating Companies will take strike action on:- 13 December, 14 December, 16 December and 17 December 2022, and on 3 January, 4 January, 6 January, and 7 January 2023. The are also running an overtime ban across the railways from:- 18 December 2022, until 2 January 2023, meaning RMT be taking industrial action for 4 weeks. Despite the RMT saying every effort has been made though it's negotiators, and that it is clear that that the Government is directly interfering with the attempts to reach a settlement. The Union has announced that it has now suspended previous strike action in good faith to allow for intensive negotiations to resolve the dispute. Yet, the Union claims Network Rail have still failed to make any improved offers on jobs, pay and conditions for its members. Now the RMT says that Rail Delivery Group, representing the train operating companies, have also broken a promise to make a meaningful offer on pay and conditions and even cancelled negotiations. The RMT said in a press statement that:- "We also have evidence from all 14 of the train companies denying that Rail Delivery Group has the authority to conduct negotiations on their behalf, even as the RDG urged us to come back to the table."

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."


Liverpool Philharmonic to Auction Limited Edition John Lennon and Yoko Ono Vinyl

THE Liverpool Philharmonic is auctioning off a limited-edition acetate of:- 'Happy Xmas (War is Over!)' by John Lennon, Yoko Ono, the Plastic Ono Band and The Harlem Community Choir. The auction will raise money for Liverpool Philharmonic's flagship music education programme, In Harmony Liverpool.

The acetate is 1 of only 50 limited edition copies of the 2020 'Ultimate Mix' version of the Christmas classic. Each disc was individually cut on the Abbey Road lathe by 'Ultimate Mix' mastering engineer Alex Wharton. In 2021, Yoko and Sean Ono Lennon gifted these extremely rare and collectable vinyl to 25 independent record shops and 25 handpicked music charities to help these organisations raise much-needed funding. In Harmony Liverpool was delighted to be gifted copy number 36. The vinyl includes an original letter signed by Sean Ono Lennon and a sticker on the record sleeve printed with Yoko Ono's signature.

Launched in 2009, In Harmony Liverpool uses orchestral music making to improve the life chances of children in North Liverpool by increasing confidence, wellbeing, skills and resilience, enhanced by opportunities to travel, learn, perform and collaborate with professional musicians, international artists and other young people. In Harmony is targeted at children with the greatest need and fewest resources, focusing on Anfield and Everton, where 40% of children live in poverty. Since 2009, over 2,700 children, young people and their families in Everton and Anfield have benefited from free of charge music tuition, with over 1,550 children and young people currently taking part every week.

The vinyl will be auctioned by Omega Auctions, who are waiving their commissions so 100% of the hammer price will benefit In Harmony.

Peter Garden, Executive Director - Performance and Learning, said:- "It was a wonderful surprise to receive Yoko Ono and Sean Ono Lennon's generous gift of the limited-edition vinyl last year. We thank them for thinking of In Harmony Liverpool and Liverpool Philharmonic and for supporting the work we do as a charity. All the proceeds will go towards life changing music opportunities for more children, young people and families in Everton and Anfield."

The listing can be found on Omega Auctions' website. The auction closes on:- Sunday, 4 December at 7pm.

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