RMT says new Network Rail pay offer still amounts to real-terms cut

RMT union bosses say new Network Rail pay offer still amounts to real-terms cut a day after train drivers also voted to go on strike

  • Network Rail has made new offer to workers aimed at resolving ongoing dispute
  • But RMT union says the new deal would cut a third of frontline maintenance roles
  • Talks have been ongoing since the mass walkout caused rail chaos last month
  • Mick Lynch has threatened to coordinate RMT strikes with other unions

RMT union bosses have said Network Rail’s latest pay offer still amounts to a real-terms cut – a day after train drivers voted to go on strike.

Network Rail has made a new offer to rail workers aimed at resolving an ongoing dispute over pay, jobs and conditions amid threats of further walkouts.

But the union has today said the proposed deal would cut a third of frontline maintenance roles and half of scheduled maintenance work.

The RMT also argues that the offer would come with an expectation of unsocial hours and lower pay across the board. 

Talks have been ongoing since the RMT and industry chiefs since more than 50,000 rail workers walked out last month and caused travel chaos across the UK, with the union threatening further strikes if their demands are not met.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch told members today that the new offer is dependent on productivity and modernisation clauses.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch (pictured) today threatened to coordinate strike action with other unions

Members shelter under a tree during a heavy shower on the picket line outside Kings Cross station on June 23

Travellers at Victoria Coach Station amid the biggest rail strikes in 30 years with trains cancelled across the UK last month

He said: ‘It amounts to a real-terms pay cut for members over the next two years and would cut a third of all frontline maintenance roles and half of all scheduled maintenance work.

‘There is also a wholescale expectation of unsocial hours and lower pay across the board.

‘Network Rail has offered high level managers a huge hike in salary in return for very modest flexibility compared to what you and your colleagues have been offered.

‘All companies involved in this dispute need to understand that key railway workers have lost thousands of pounds in earnings due to a pay freeze in recent years – and rightly, you refuse to be short-changed again.

‘Settlements reached with London Underground and recently Merseyrail are also well in excess of what you have been offered here.

‘We will not hesitate to call further strike action and co-ordinate this with other trade unions if the industry continues to fob us off with unacceptable offers.’

Talks between the RMT and train operators were taking place on Tuesday evening.

The RMT Executive Committee will meet on tomorrow to discuss its next steps.

It comes just a day after union barons threatened the biggest strikes on the railways for nearly 100 years as thousands more workers voted for walkouts.

Train drivers for eight operators, including on major routes such as the East Coast Main Line, voted in favour of a ‘summer of discontent’.

And members of the TSSA union, who work for Network Rail and operator Southeastern, also voted for walkouts.

Passengers walk along a platform after disembarking a busy train at Waterloo station, on a day of heavily reduced rail service on the third day of national rail strikes on June 23

Train drivers have voted overwhelmingly to strike over pay, increasing the threat of huge disruption to rail services this summer. Members of the drivers union Aslef at eight train companies backed campaigns of industrial action

Aslef members had already voted to strike on trains run by another three operators, and TSSA members for five operators had also already voted for walkouts.

Walkout dates have yet to be announced, but union leaders have threatened to co-ordinate them in a bid to cause the biggest walkout since the 1926 General Strike.

They must give at least two weeks’ notice, meaning July 26 is the earliest all could walk out together. That week or the first week of August could be targeted to cause mayhem for the Commonwealth Games, which runs from July 28 until August 8 in Birmingham.

It would also create chaos for domestic holidaymakers and those trying to reach airports, with millions of families planning trips abroad after the majority of schools break up on July 22.

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