Posted 28th May 2015 | 9 Comments

RMT confirms new strikes over Network Rail pay


The RMT has refused Network Rail's latest pay offer and has announced two more strikes in early June. An earlier report that the TSSA had accepted was incorrect. The union said it remains in dispute while it conducts a referendum of its members.

Walkouts by RMT members are now planned for 24 hours from 17.00 on Thursday 4 June, and for 48 hours from 17.00 on Tuesday 9 June. There will also be industrial action 'short of a strike'  from 00.01 Saturday 6 June to 23.59 on Friday 12 June.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Our representatives have today rejected the pay package offered by Network Rail and in the absence of any further movement from the company that has left us with no option but to move to a rolling programme of industrial action which will begin next Thursday.

"We have a massive mandate for action which shows the anger of safety-critical staff across the rail network at attacks on their standards of living and the blunt truth is that this dispute could be settled for a fraction of the money being handed out in senior manager bonuses and to the train operators for not running services. That is a ludicrous situation which should never have been allowed to have arisen.

“With no shortage of cash in the bonus pot and to compensate the private train companies it is no wonder that our members take the view that 1% is wholly inadequate and fails to recognise the massive pressures staff are working under to keep services running safely at a time when the company is generating profits of £1 billion. It is our members battling to keep Britain moving around the clock, often in appalling conditions, and they deserve a fair share from Network Rail for their incredible efforts.

“Our rail staff deserve a fair reward for the high-pressure, safety-critical work that they undertake day and night and the last thing that we need is a demoralised, burnt-out workforce living in fear for their livelihoods and their futures and the message has come back loud and clear that that is exactly how they feel about the current offer from Network Rail.

“RMT remains available for talks and we hope that the company will appreciate the anger amongst staff at the current offer on pay and conditions from Network Rail and that they will agree to our call to come back to the table with an improved package."

Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne responded: “Our people know that there are ways to improve the way work is done.  I have always said that if we work together to realise these benefits there is the possibility to increase pay.  We are therefore ready to get around the table with whoever the RMT consider can speak on behalf of their members.  It is clearly unacceptable for the RMT to massively disrupt the travelling public with strike action when we are ready to continue talks.” 

Network Rail added that it will now restart its contingency planning with the train operators, but if a national rail strike goes ahead, it warned that rail services would be 'severely affected'.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • M Soulsby, Penrith

    Thank you for ruining ordinary hard working class people's plans for a little bit of enjoyment and holiday.You are not gaining any sympathy by holding the country to ransom. Yes you are a doing a great job keeping the country moving but you are only a small cog in a great big wheel,so many other people have equally important and difficult jobs to do and they aren't striking.this country would get back on its feet a lot quicker if everyone stopped being so greedy wanting more all the time. Be grateful for what you've got and just hope like other hard working people in this country that things will get better.Look around you,there is always someone far worse off than yourself and I don't necessarily mean financially.Try being a dairy farmer,( you know the person who puts the pint of milk on your table and it costs you less than bottled water does)12hrs a day 7 days a week and often 52 weeks a year with no holidays. Receiving less income than 15 yrs ago!! We didn't like it and after a lifetime in the job got out. We now live according to our means. Health and happiness are more important.

  • RMT member, Luton

    Every year there are public sector strikes by various trade unions (teachers, NHS workers, firemen, local councils, civil service, border force, to name but a few). I don't hear whingeing about them when they stop work in order to improve their work conditions and/or pay. Why should it be any different for the Network Rail staff? Maybe because it affects you most personally having to make alternative arrangements to commute. When your child's school is closed or your hospital operation is cancelled due to a public sector strike, you never hear this level of moaning.

    The protest should be made to the Tory government who continue swinging cuts and pay freezes to all public sector jobs which piles additional workload pressures on those affected. It is not just about pay rises, it's about workplace conditions and job security too.

    For the record, I am an RMT member but not part of Network Rail.

  • Neil Palmer, Waterloo

    If Ronald Reagan could fire the US civilian air traffic controllers and replace them maybe we could fire Mike Cash & the lot of those greedy overpaid ungrateful RMT members and have the military run the railways while those who would be more than grateful to work for a reasonable wage are trained as replacements. Cash may think his overpaid members are worth more & larger raises than NHS doctors and nurses, but I doubt much of the general public thinks the same way.

  • Evelyn McMillan, Glasgow

    Strikes never do the workers any good. I work for the NHS and like many other workers all we got is 1% - much more than plenty of other workers.

    This strike will cause me major problems trying to visit my daughter (also working for NHS) in London for her birthday - a much looked forward to trip.

  • Barry Pinkney, middlesbrough

    Get a life you greedy people I worked for 50 years never on strike why don't you think of others and not just yourself if hospital workers doctors nursery all did the same and your family had to have a life threatening op cancelled how would you feel !!! Sorry you would probably go on strike think. About what you are doing surely you are not all brainless or are you ?? Keep working and keep the country on its feet we didn't ask you to work for them ,bet you couldn't get another job with the perks and pay you are now getting .

  • Ashleigh, Blackpool

    this is ridiculous! i have a christening to attend where i am going to be godmother & im most probably going to miss it! i also am in a long distance relationship where i need to use the train to get to where my partner lives. im sure they get paid enough.. & in my opinion no need for a train strike.. affecting other people with there own problems! totally unneccasary! get it sorted & call the strike off!

  • Voice of Reason, Nottingham

    So the bonus pot is now causing Brother Cash so much unease, funny that as many of his members have benefitted from receiving a share of it. I don't recall hearing him be so vocal about that aspect.
    As an earlier posted has said, if you don't like working for such an employer as NR. go away and get another job, with the same level of pay and benefits. Good luck with that!!

  • Sheila Pooley, Preston

    Thanks for that - I am probably going to miss my Great Grand daughter making her First Communion through no fault of my own. at 75yrs I need to know that if I get down there I can get back

  • James palma, londo

    Disgusting! What a selfish attitude of the unions and their members. Where is my pay rise, paid for at public expense? Where are the reductions in my train fares paid for by network rail and train operating companies? Where is my compensation for not being able to get to work because of the outdated union attitudes and the greed of their members?

    Network Rail staff who voted to strike and the RMT fill me with disgust. If you dont like your job go and get a different one or work harder to gain a job where you get a large bonus.