RMT union reveals new strike dates and overtime ban in national rail dispute | Business News
Tens of thousands of RMT members are to strike again, beginning on 16 March, because the union has received “no new offers” from employers involved in the national rail dispute.
The RMT revealed the start of the next phase of action, following months of sporadic disruption, having earlier rejected the terms offered by Network Rail and 14 train operators on the grounds they “did not meet the needs of members on pay, job security or working conditions”.
The Rail, Martine and Transport union later said 24-hour strikes by train company workers would also take place on 18th and 30th March and be followed by a further walkout on 1 April.
Network Rail members will take strike action over 16th and 17th March.
It added that Network Rail staff would also commence an overtime ban that would hit maintenance and operations from mid-March through to the end of April.
“RMT is seeking an unconditional offer from rail operators and Network Rail”, its statement said.
The union had described as “dreadful” a 5% pay rise, backdated to January last year, along with a 4% hike for 2023.
General secretary Mick Lynch said on Thursday: “Rail employers are not being given a fresh mandate by the government to offer our members a new deal on pay, conditions and job security.
“Therefore, our members will now take sustained and targeted industrial action over the next few months.
“The government can settle this dispute easily by unshackling the rail companies.
“However, its stubborn refusal to do so will now mean more strike action across the railway network and a very disruptive overtime ban.
“Ministers cannot continue to sit on their hands hoping this dispute will go away as our members are fully prepared to fight tooth and nail for a negotiated settlement in the months ahead.”
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Tim Shoveller, Network Rail’s chief negotiator, responded: “The RMT’s leadership has shown its true colours by choosing politics over people.
“During months of talks we have made multiple concessions, compromises and offers in our determination to secure a deal.
“Thousands of employees are telling us they want the improved offer that we have tabled, an offer worth at least 9% over two years – rising to over 14% for the lowest paid, provides job security with no compulsory redundancies and 75% discounted rail travel.
“But instead of offering members a democratic vote with a referendum, the RMT leadership is hiding behind a sham ‘consultation’.”
A spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents the train operators, added: “This latest round of strikes is totally unjustified and will be an inconvenience to our customers, and cost our people more money at a time they can least afford it.
“The RMT leadership’s decision not to put the deal out to a referendum means that thousands of their lowest paid members have been denied a chance to have a say on an offer which would give them a pay increase of over 13%.”