RMT rejects train operators’ offer to prevent further strikes | UK News

The RMT has rejected an offer by train operators to prevent strikes over the Christmas period, the union has announced.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) said its proposed framework would have supported pay increases of up to 8%, covering 2022 and 2023 pay allocations, while delivering much-needed reforms.

But the RMT, led by General Secretary Mick Lynch, refused.

The union said: “The RDG is offering 4% in 2022 and 2023, on the condition that RMT members accept sweeping changes in working practices, huge job losses, driver-only (DOO) trains on all businesses and the closing of all counters.”

Mr Lynch added: “We have rejected this offer because it does not meet any of our criteria for a deal on long-term job security, a decent pay rise and protection of working conditions.

“The RDG and the Department for Transport (DfT), who set their terms of reference, both knew that this offer would not be acceptable to RMT members.

“If this plan were implemented, it would not only mean the loss of thousands of jobs, but the use of unsafe practices such as DOO and would leave our railways chronically understaffed.”

RMT demanded an urgent meeting with RDG on Monday morning in hopes of trying to resolve the dispute, the union said on Twitter.

In a statement posted on the RMT website, Mr Lynch said the talks would aim to achieve “a negotiated settlement on job security, working conditions and wages”.

It means rail strikes scheduled for December and early January are still expected to continue, with commuters facing severe disruption on December 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17 and January 3, 4, 6 and 7.

Mr. Lynch previously insisted ‘I’m not the Grinch’ as he defended the industrial action.

Read more:
All lines affected by train strikes over Christmas and January

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How will strikes affect businesses?

The RDG said it was offering a “fair and affordable offer in these difficult times, providing a significant salary increase for staff” that would bring “vital and long overdue” changes to working arrangements.

The draft framework agreement gives RMT the option to cancel its planned action and submit the offer to its members, according to a statement.

“If approved by the RMT, implementation could be accelerated to ensure that staff will enter safely over Christmas, knowing that they will receive this enhanced salary reward at the start of the new year, alongside a security guarantee. until April 2024,” an RDG spokesperson said. said.

“With incomes stuck 20% below pre-pandemic levels and many working practices unchanged for decades, taxpayers who contributed £1,800 per household to keep the railway running in recent years will balk. to continue pumping billions of pounds a year into an industry which desperately needs to push ahead with long overdue reforms and which is alienating potential customers with sustained industrial action.”

The company called on the union to “move forward with us” so that we can “give our employees a pay raise and deliver an improved railroad with a long-term sustainable future for those who work there”.

A dark winter of strikes

Motorists have also been warned to prepare for Christmas chaos after road workers revealed they would be giving up tools for 12 days to coincide with rail walkouts.

National motorway workers, who operate and maintain roads in England, will take part in a series of staggered strikes from December 16 to January 7, the PCS union has announced.

A growing list of unions threatens to cripple the country, putting pressure on the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

He is trying a more constructive and less combative approach with the unions as the government treads a cautious line between “being tough but also being human – and treating people with respect”, a government source told Sky News.

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Military could ‘drive ambulances’ during strikes

Some 10,000 paramedics voted to strike in England and Walesannounced the GMB union this week.

They join 100,000 nurses ready to go out during the biggest strike ever by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on December 15 and 20.

On Sunday morning, the chairman of the Conservative Party Nadhim Zahawi told Sky News’ Sophie Ridge on Sunday the military could be deployed to help mitigate any disruption to the strike at Christmas.

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