LABOUR backed strike misery for millions of people yesterday to please its union paymasters.
Lisa Nandy said the party is “on the side” of hard-left railway workers who are set to paralyse the country with summer walk-outs.
The shadow minister added she understood why union members were taking action.
It came as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer again avoided strike questions.
RMT boss Mick Lynch is planning five days of chaos later this month.
Ministers have condemned the action, set to bring misery for workers, festival goers and youngsters sitting exams.
But Ms Nandy said: “We’re on the public’s side on this. We’re also on the rail workers’ side.
“They’re dealing with the same pressures everyone is — the cost of food, soaring inflation, taxes going up, and they’re really struggling to make ends meet.”
Allies close to Ms Nandy insist she was not coming out in favour of the strikes and instead wants ministers to broker a solution.
But Labour has been tying itself in knots over its position by refusing to explicitly condemn the walk-outs to avoid upsetting union pals.
Meanwhile, the Government said the RMT should “reflect long and hard before they make commuters’ lives miserable and stop them going to and from work”.
Tory MP Claire Coutinho said: “We subsidised the rail industry to the tune of £16billion during the pandemic because people had stopped using the trains.
“Disrupting train services will reduce train revenues and, ultimately, lead to job losses and reduce pay.”