Members of the RMT (Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers Union) have voted in favour of more train strikes. 70.2% of RMT members voted which was over 40,000 members. 91% voted in favour of further industrial action across the next six months.
Further rail strikes will continue unless a deal on pay, job security, and working conditions can be made to end the strike action. Unions believe that wages should be increased in line with the cost of living, and one of the RMT’s major disputes regards Network Rail’s plans to cut 1900 maintenance team jobs. Days of striking have already occurred several times over the past six months, causing huge rail delays and cancellations across the country.
Members of the RMT from 15 train companies took part in the ballot. This means that trains from across the country could be affected over the next six months.
What Have RMT Said About The Train Strikes?
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said the union was “determined to continue with this campaign until the employers understand that they need to respond to our members’ aspirations on job security, pay and working conditions”.
Proposed strikes in November were called off to enable a period of “intensive” negotiations which are now underway. The RMT have been in talks with Network Rail, who’s chief negotiator Tim Shoveller said would continue today.
He said: “What’s clear for all of us is that striking is not changing the railway’s precarious financial position, but actually only making it worse. The railway has not recovered from the pandemic and is currently losing millions a day, which makes reaching a deal both tough and essential.”
He added: “Our railway is in desperate need of modernisation and we once again urge union bosses to work with employers, not against them, and come to an agreement which is fair for passengers, taxpayers and workers alike. The very future of the industry depends on it.”