Rail strikes to continue this week as RMT members reject offer | Economic news

Rail strikes will continue this week after union members voted to reject an offer from Network Rail.

RMT Syndicate members will be out on December 13, 14, 16 and 17.

More strikes are provided from 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve to 5:59 a.m. on December 27.

It was expected that the offer would be turned down because the union had advised members do.

Almost two-thirds (64%) voted against the offer. Attendance was 83%.

Mick Lynch, union general secretary, described the result as ‘a huge rejection of Network Rail’s substandard offer’.

The RMT said the offer included a 5% and 4% wage increase over two years with thousands of job losses, a 50% reduction in scheduled maintenance tasks and a 30% increase in non-working hours. social.

The rejection “shows that our members are committed to continuing the strike in pursuit of a negotiated settlement,” Lynch said.

He blamed the government for the lack of agreement between the union and the rail operator.

“The government refuses to lift a finger to prevent these strikes and it is clear that they want to make effective strikes illegal in Britain,” Mr Lynch said.

“We will stand up to this and our members, along with the entire labor movement, will continue their campaign for a square deal for workers, decent pay rises and good working conditions.”

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“Stop playing politics”

Network Rail’s chief executive said union management must ‘stop playing politics and work with us’ to end the dispute.

Andrew Haines said the rejection was “particularly frustrating” because colleagues represented by Unite, another union, had taken up the same offer.

“Our offer, which is worth more than 9%, with a guarantee of mandatory redundancies and no changes to the terms and conditions of anyone left on the table,” he said.

“Our railway is still facing a real financial crisis and because of this we will continue to consult around the implementation of maintenance reforms.”

The company said it would “work closely with operators to offer as many services as possible”, but asked passengers to travel only when absolutely necessary.

Huw Merriman, the railway minister, has urged the RMT to call off the strikes as he hit out at its leaders for recommending members reject Network Rail’s ‘generous’ offer.

“We don’t believe RMT executives speak for the workforce, certainly not passengers, and we want them to call off these damaging strikes so businesses can operate over Christmas, passengers can travel to their work and there will be a future for the railways,” he said.

Rail workers are among hundreds of thousands of workers on strike this winter across many industries.

As inflation-led Cost of life pressures are mounting, with many workers seeking better wages and conditions.

For the first time in history, members of the Royal College of Nursing are about to go on strike. They are expected to be joined by other first responders, including paramedics, firefighters and doctors.

Members of the Communications Workers Union are continuing their month-long strike against Royal Mail.

Travelers are prepared for chaos on the roads and at airports, as bus workers, baggage handlers, border force agents and road workers also plan to get out.

Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of the TUC, has warned that the wave of strikes will continue into next year unless the government changes course and engages in meaningful wage negotiations.

The union organization accused the government of refusing to commit in good faith on wages, of “obstructing” negotiations and of hiding behind wage review bodies.

“The unions are ready to meet and find a solution, but the Conservatives must stop sabotaging efforts to reach settlements,” Ms O’Grady said.

“If we’re seeing more industrial action, it’s because of their intransigence. Instead, the government needs to come to the table and negotiate.”

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