Sun. Oct 1st, 2023


The Real News Network

Yet more rail misery… union’s cash demand as it backs new strikes

3 min read

Train passengers face six more months of misery after the RMT voted for a fresh wave of strikes.

The union, which began industrial action a year ago, said members overwhelmingly backed a new round of walkouts and called on the Government to offer its workers more cash.

It means chaos on the railways will last until the run-up to Christmas.

Rail bosses said the result was “disappointing” but “unsurprising” and criticised the union for refusing the pay offer of up to 13 per cent.

The RMT said there was an average turnout at each of the 14 train operating companies affected of nearly 70 per cent, with more than 90 per cent of votes backing strike action.

DON’T MISS: ‘Smiley’ mum-of-three found dead on Easter Sunday was ‘life of party’

General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “It is clear from these results that members are not prepared to accept a pay offer based on mass job cuts and major attacks on their terms and conditions.

“This sends a clear message to the employers that the huge anger among rail workers is very real and they need to recognise that fact, face reality and make improved proposals.

“They need to get around the table with RMT and negotiate in good faith for a better deal for rail workers.”

A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group said: “While the outcome of the ballot is disappointing, sadly it is also unsurprising during an ongoing dispute such as this.

“The RMT membership would be forgiven for wondering why they are only ever offered a vote to extend this dispute and never a vote to end it. We can only assume that the executive committee is fixed on continuing this dispute for its own reasons, despite the damage it is causing to an industry still being subsidised up to £175m a month extra post-Covid.

“Instead of continuing to hold the country to ransom, we call on the RMT executive to quickly think again and put the deal – which offers job security guarantees and a pay rise of up to 13 percent – out to a democratic vote so that members can finally have their say.”

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “I’m disappointed by the RMT’s decision to continue taking industrial action. Train companies put forward a fair and reasonable pay offer which the RMT’s executive has refused to consult their members on, despite members working for Network Rail voting overwhelmingly to accept it earlier this year.”

The average rail worker is on £44,000 a year. For train drivers, the average is nearer £60,000.

Unions involved in disputes have to re-ballot their members every six months to legally continue with strikes and other forms of action. Meanwhile, Heathrow was hit yesterday by strike action staged by security guards.

Members of the Unite union walked out in the first of a series of stoppages after talks over a pay dispute broke down on Wednesday evening.

Heathrow said its ­contingency plans are working well and that no flights have been cancelled.

Source: Read Full Article