More rail disruption as RMT calls three-day strike
Rail workers union the RMT has announced a walk-out for three days at the end of June in its dispute over job cuts and salaries.
A strike will take place on 21, 23 and 25 June after negotiations with Network Rail and other 13 operators ended without agreement.
“We have a cost-of-living crisis, and it is unacceptable for railway workers to either lose their jobs or face another year of a pay freeze when inflation is at 11.1 per cent and rising,” said RMT’s general secretary Mick Lynch.
The strike is set to be the biggest one since 1989 after 40,000 workers were ballotted. If it goes goes ahead as proposed, only around a fifth of services would run on the strike dates.
RMT members cited Network Rail’s decision to axe 2,500 maintenance jobs as well as pay freezes as the main reasons behind the industrial action.
“This unfairness is fuelling our members anger and their determination to win a fair settlement,” Mr Lynch added.
Network Rail’s chief executive Andrew Haines said: “We know that the cost of living has increased and we want to give our people a pay rise, but the RMT must recognise we are a public body and any pay increase has to be affordable for taxpayers.
“There are two weeks until the first strike is planned. We will use this time to keep talking to our unions and, through compromise and common sense on both sides, we hope to find a solution and avoid the damage that strike action would cause all involved.”
Rail Delivery Group’s chair Steve Montgomery said: “While we will keep as many services running as possible, sadly if this action goes ahead, significant disruption will be inevitable.”
Talks aimed at ending the dispute between Scotland’s rail provider and train drivers will resume on Thursday, the union has said.
Aslef previously agreed an increased offer from ScotRail, but it was later rejected by its executive committee. ScotRail criticised the union for not putting the offer to its members.
Talks were held on Monday, before being adjourned within a matter of hours, but ScotRail deemed the discussions to be “constructive”.