The RMT has called another 24-hour strike on 2 June, using the powers it obtained after the most recent ballot of its members which approved further industrial action over the next six months.
The union said it had found the Rail Delivery Group’s previous offer and associated conditions ‘unacceptable’ and despite contact between the parties since the strike on 13 May, ‘no new proposals have been formulated for the RMT to consider’.
The RDG, which has turned down RMT calls for an industry summit over the dispute, responded: ‘In recent discussions with the RMT we have continued to stand by the fair, industry level dispute resolution proposal agreed line by line with their negotiating team, which would have resolved this dispute and given our lowest paid staff a rise of up to 13 per cent.
‘By calling more strike action the RMT leadership have chosen to prolong this dispute without ever giving their members a chance to have a say on their own offer. Instead, they will be subject to yet more lost pay through industrial action, customers will suffer more disruption, and the industry will continue to suffer huge damage.’
The Department for Transport added: ‘It’s extremely disappointing that for the second time in a month, RMT has decided to call strikes on the same weekend as ASLEF strikes, going out of their way to make travelling by train to the FA Cup final, Epsom Derby and a number of music concerts more difficult for thousands of people.
‘The transport secretary and the rail minister have facilitated talks and there continues to be a fair and reasonable offer on the table, yet the RMT’s executive committee’s actions will see their members lose money through strikes, rather than having the chance to vote on the offer and bring this dispute to an end.’
The RMT has renewed its call for the Rail Delivery Group to make a better offer.
General secretary Mick Lynch said: ‘The government is once again not allowing the Rail Delivery Group to make an improved offer that we can consider.
‘Therefore, we have to pursue our industrial campaign to win a negotiated settlement on jobs, pay and conditions.
’Ministers cannot just wish this dispute away.
‘They underestimate the strength of feeling our members who have just given us a new six month strike mandate, continue to support the campaign and the action and are determined to see this through until we get an acceptable resolution.
‘The government now needs to unlock the RDG and allow them to make an offer that can be put to a referendum of our members.’