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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Rail strikes cancelled on Poppy Day

Rail union RMT said it will not strike on November 3 after being made aware that the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Day was the same date.

Workers will now walk out on November 5,7 and 9 as part of a long-standing dispute over salaries, jobs and working conditions. 

Network Rail members said they will strike for all three dates but staff at 14 other railway companies will only walk out on November 5. 

About one in five trains are likely to run, with large areas of Great Britain with no rail services at all.

In separate disagreements, London Underground and Overground workers will walk out on November 10.  

Four unions are involved in the strikes: RMT, the main rail union; Aslef, representing train drivers, Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA), the union for white-collar staff in the transport industry and Unite, representing some grades in some train operators.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “The dishonesty of Network Rail bosses has reached a new low in this national rail dispute.

“On the one hand, they were telling our negotiators that they were prepared to do a deal while planning to torpedo negotiations by imposing unacceptable changes to our members’ terms and conditions. Our members are livid with these duplicitous tactics, and they will now respond in kind with sustained strike action.”

Tim Shoveller, Network Rail’s chief negotiator, said: “A two-year eight per cent deal, with discounted travel and a new extended job guarantee to January 2025, is on the table ready to be put to our staff. Unfortunately, the leadership of the RMT seems intent on more damaging strikes rather than giving their members a vote on our offer.

“Me and my team remain available for serious talks and continue to negotiate in good faith. Our sector has a £2 billion hole in its budget with many fewer passengers using our services. That reality is not going to change anytime soon.”

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