Rail strikes: Union boss Mick Lynch optimistic about reaching deal soon
Mick Lynch is optimistic about reaching a deal that could end the ongoing rail dispute “in the next week or so.”
The union RMT boss told Sky News this morning that the prospect of achieving a compromise during talks is “achievable.”
“I know that there are some very simple steps that the employers and ourselves could take together to get a solution to this,” Lynch said.
“And I think we could do that in the next period.
“And if that is done very quickly, we can consider the industrial action going forward.”
As things stand right now, RMT members at Network Rail and 14 other train companies are walking out today and tomorrow after rejecting an eight per cent pay increase from operators.
They are also set to go on strike on 3, 4, 6, 7 January.
Separately, Network Rail staff will down tools from 6pm on Christmas Eve to 6am on 27 December as RMT members binned a nine per cent pay deal – which was agreed by the TSSA and Unite unions.
According to Lynch, TSSA and Unite’s workers at Network Rail will not be affected by the changes proposed in the deal.
“They are supervisors and white collar workers,” he told the outlet.
“They don’t do the work that our members do who are profoundly affected by the changes, including the safety regime, as will the public.”
It comes as RMT bosses as well as representatives of train operators and Network Rail met with rail minister Huw Merriman yesterday.
Merriman urged both sides to engage in further talks, which both the RMT and employer agreed to do.