More strikes coming? Rail union RMT rejects ‘dreadful’ new offer from Network Rail and train firms
The biggest rail workers’ union has rejected the latest offers from Network Rail and the train operating companies aimed at resolving the long-running disputes over pay, jobs and conditions.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said that following a wide-ranging consultation with every level of the union involved in the national rail dispute, its executive decided to reject both offers on the basis that they do not meet members’ expectations on pay, job security or working conditions.
The union said it was seeking an “unconditional“ pay offer, a job security agreement and no detrimental changes being imposed on members’ terms, conditions and working practices.
The union said it believes Network Rail’s plans for maintenance were unsafe, unhealthy for staff and unworkable.
Network Rail rejects the union’s claims.
The RMT said start preparing for more strike ballots after May, when an existing strike mandate expires.
The RMT said it will now seek further meetings with Network Rail and the Rail Delivery Group to try to achieve a negotiated settlement.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “We have carried out an in-depth consultation of our 40,000 members and the message we have received loud and clear is to reject these dreadful offers.
“Our members cannot accept the ripping up of their terms and conditions or to have safety standards on the railway put into jeopardy under the guise of so-called modernisation.
“If our union did accept these offers, we would see a severe reduction in scheduled maintenance tasks, making the railways less safe, the closure of all ticket offices and thousands of jobs stripped out of the industry when the railways need more investment, not less.
“We have carried out an extensive listening exercise and our members have spoken.
“It is now time for the employers and the Government to listen to railway workers in their tens of thousands.
“Our industrial campaign will continue for as long as it takes to get a negotiated settlement that meets our members’ reasonable expectations on jobs, pay and working conditions.”
Press Association – Alan Jones