Shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry has claimed that the government is not taking the current strikes “seriously”.
The comments come as ministers and employers are set for further meetings with unions as industrial action rumbles on.
Speaking to Kay Burley on Sky News, Ms Thornberry said: “I just don’t think that this government takes it seriously.
“I think somehow or other they can just wait it out – that somehow or other people will turn against them, and then the workers will just go back to work.”
She added: “I don’t understand why they don’t sit down, have some serious talks.”
Later on Thursday, health secretary Steve Barclay will be holding talks with the British Medical Association, the hospital doctors’ union HCSA and the British Dental Association.
Elsewhere, unions representing members of the civil service are set to sit down with ministers from the cabinet office. The meeting comes after the announcement from the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union that roughly 100,000 civil servants would walk out on 1 February over the dispute on pay.
Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS, said that cabinet office minister Jeremy Quinn would need to put “some money on the table” if there is to be hope for a resolution to the strikes.
Rail unions will be sitting down with the Rail Delivery Group, which represents employers, as they try to broker a solution to the strikes.
Commenting before the meeting, transport secretary Mark Harper said a “renewed offer” will be on the table.
In an interview with Peston on ITV on Wednesday, Mr Harper was optimistic about a forthcoming resolution. He said: “I’m hopeful that now there is a renewed offer on the table that [a deal] can happen and we saw confirmation today, in the evidence that was given to the transport select committee, that there are conversations going on between various unions and the companies”.
“I’m hopeful that we’ll make some progress in the coming days”.
However, Mick Whelan, the leader of the train drivers union Aslef, told Sky News on Thursday that more strikes on the railway are likely.
Asked by Kay Burley if we were looking at more industrial action, Mr Whelan responded: “I believe so. He added that his board are meeting next week and the way forward will be clearer henceforth.
Giving evidence to the transport committee on Wednesday, Mick Whelan said there was “zero” chance of a resolution to rail strike talks.
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