New strikes threat after RMT refuses latest offer

The RMT is preparing to reballot its members for more strikes after it refused the latest pay offers from train operators and Network Rail on Friday afternoon.

The union said its National Executive Committee had decided to reject both offers on the basis that ‘they do not meet members’ expectations on pay, job security or working conditions’.

The RMT is seeking further discussions, but general secretary Mick Lynch is also preparing for the dispute to continue, because the union is preparing a fresh mambers’ ballot when the existing mandate runs out in May.

He said: ‘We have carried out an in-depth consultation of our 40,000 members and the message we have received loud and clear is to reject these dreadful offers.

‘Our members cannot accept the ripping up of their terms and conditions or to have safety standards on the railway put into jeopardy under the guise of so-called modernisation.

‘If our union did accept these offers, we would see a severe reduction in scheduled maintenance tasks, making the railways less safe, the closure of all ticket offices and thousands of jobs stripped out of the industry when the railways need more investment not less.

‘We have carried out an extensive listening exercise and our members have spoken.

‘It is now time for the employers and the government to listen to railway workers in their tens of thousands.

’Our industrial campaign will continue for as long as it takes to get a negotiated settlement that meets our members reasonable expectations on jobs, pay and working conditions.’

The Rail Delivery Group responded that not only passengers but ‘many hard-working RMT members’ will be ‘deeply dismayed’ by the failure of negotiations. It said: ‘We removed driver-only operation and gave an improved job security offer. The railway's financial crisis is not going away.

‘The RMT leadership must now accept the urgent need to make the railway fit for the future for both our people, and the communities the railway serves.’

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