Christmas revellers didn’t let Mick ‘The Grinch’ Lynch’s rail strikes stop them from enjoying a great night out on the first of two ‘Black Eye Fridays’ last night.
Black Eye Friday is the name given to the Friday before Christmas Eve and is the most popular night in December for work Christmas parties.
It is typically used to describe the Friday after the December 16, and plenty are expected to be out again next week to celebrate the festive season.
But crowds of people also partied hard into the night last night, despite the much-discussed rail strikes from the RMT.
Christmas revellers didn’t let Mick ‘The Grinch’ Lynch’s rail strikes from stop them from enjoying a great night out on the first of two ‘Black Eye Fridays’ this evening. Pictured: Revellers in Newcastle this evening
These party-goers in Newcastle did not let strikes destroy their Christmas spirit
‘Tis the season for this group of festively dressed people in Coven Garden, London tonight
These three wise women were having a blast tonight in their Christmas antlers
But congestion was up in major cities as people were forced into their cars after train services were shut down for the second day running in action lasting into January.
Earlier today RMT chief Mick Lynch, nicknamed ‘The Grinch’ because of the wave of strikes over Christmas, attempted to play down other unions accepting pay deals as his began a fresh 48-hour industrial action.
Yesterday the united front on strike action by thousands of rail workers creaked as members of a major trade union accepted a bumper pay offer from bosses.
Members of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) at Network Rail voted overwhelmingly to accept a deal worth up to 11 per cent for some lower paid staff.
Mrs Claus and one of her reindeer out on the town in Leeds tonight
Revellers dressed as Father Christmas enjoy a night out in Leeds
Two young men in fancy dress enjoy a night out in Leeds
RMT leader Mick Lynch said there are ‘no new proposals on the table’ after talks convened by rail minister Huw Merriman on Thursday.
Speaking from the picket line at London Euston station, the union chief told Sky News: ‘We had an exchange about what might be possible and some ways forward and ideas that all the parties shared, and the rail minister requested that all the parties get down to some more discussions in the next period.
‘We’ll look to arrange those meetings with the employers and see if we can develop some solutions to the issues that hopefully all the parties can support.
Mick Lynch on the picket line as over 40,000 rail workers begin 48 hour strike after talks failed to resolve a dispute over pay, jobs, and conditions
These four women in Newcastle were happy to go out for a Christmas do despite rail disruption
This group of lads wearing paper crowns and Santa hats were clearly having a great Christmas party
The strikes won’t stop these two from dancing Christmas away
Revellers make the most of Friday night in Soho despite the reduce transport options
These two women in Newcastle were having a great Christmas night out tonight
‘But there are no actual negotiations; there are some soundings-out of what might be developed.
‘So we’ll look forward to getting around the table with employers and work it up and see what we can do.
‘But there are no new proposals on the table as we speak.’
Lynch added TSSA members who have accepted a pay offer from Network Rail are ‘not affected by the changes’ proposed.
A Christmas-themed costume party for these happy souls in Leeds
These five clearly had a great time out in Leeds on Black Eye Friday
This group of girls strike a pose for their friend’s Christmassy hen night
A reveller dressed as the Grinch enjoys a night out with friends in Leeds
He insisted: ‘Well, the TSSA and Unite are minuscule in Network Rail – we’ve got eight or nine times their membership and they’re not affected by the changes that Network Rail wishes to make.
‘They are supervisors and white collar workers. They don’t do the work that our members do who are profoundly affected by the changes, including the safety regime, as will be the public.
‘Whether they’re in the dispute or not, it doesn’t really affect the course of the dispute.
‘For our members, the proposals are completely inadequate at this time.’