Train strikes are set to last until the autumn after RMT union bosses rejected ‘final’ pay offer
- Union bosses will not accept an offer of up to nine per cent over two years
- Read more: Thousands of NHS managers on six-figure salaries as nurses strike
Train strikes could continue until the autumn after the biggest rail union rejected ‘final’ pay offers yesterday.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport union said offers of up to 9 per cent over two years from Network Rail and the train companies were ‘dreadful’ and did not meet expectations on ‘pay, job security or working conditions’.
The RMT’s executive is also looking to renew its mandate to strike in May, potentially giving it the right to cause chaos for commuters and families until November.
The move could put summer holidays at risk and further hit the British economy, which is teetering on the brink of recession.
Talks were at an advanced stage, raising hopes for a deal, but the two sides now appear to be in deadlock.
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’
Summer holidays could be at risk as a result of more strikes and the action will further hit the British economy, which is teetering on the brink of recession
Transport Secretary Mark Harper had said the pay rise offer would not be improved and had called on union leaders to put it to their members in a referendum.
Last night he said: ‘The RMT’s rejection of these best and final offers is a kick in the teeth for passengers and the RMT’s own members, who having been ordered to take strike action are now being blocked from having a say on their own future.
‘The RMT’s leaders should have had the courage to allow their own members to have the chance to vote on their own pay and conditions, rather than making that decision for them behind closed doors. It is time for those union leaders to face the reality – our railways are currently not financially sustainable, reform is essential.’
A Government source said: ‘They’ve signed the death warrant of their own industry.’
Transport Secretary Mark Harper had said the pay rise offer would not be improved and said unions should ballot their members on accepting it
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.’
The union is seeking an ‘unconditional’ pay offer, which is not linked to ‘modernising’ changes, along with guarantees to protect job security, conditions and working practices.
The RMT said it will now seek further meetings with Network Rail and the Rail Delivery Group, which represents the train operators.
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