RMT Union Quote
Network Rail QuoteRMT calls strike dates at Network Rail over pay
BRITAIN’S biggest rail union RMT announced dates for one 24-hour strike and one 48-hour strike today after Network Rail refused to agree to a one-year pay deal.
RMT signaller members will be asked not to book on between noon on Friday 21 July 2006 and 11.59am on Saturday 22 July 2006. Also members not to book on between the hours of noon on Thursday 27 July 2006 and 11.59am on Saturday 29 July 2006.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said that the union remained available to resolve the issue but added that he could not understand the attitude of Network Rail in refusing to even consider a one-year deal.
"Network Rail has just agreed a one-year deal for over 15,000 infrastructure workers but is refusing to give 5,000 signallers the same - that does not make sense.
"The company is fixated with a 21-month deal but all it has to do is apply the figures in the offer relating to the first year and it will be acceptable to the union," he said.
New Strike Dates Announced
The RMT trade union today (12/07/06) announced new dates for a national rail strike.
The first 24-hour stoppage will take place on Friday 21 July, starting at noon. The second stoppage for 48 hours will take place from noon on Thursday 27 July until noon Saturday 29 July.
In due course a strike timetable will be made available, and passengers will be able to access information through National Rail Enquiries, by calling 08457 48 49 50 and by logging on to www.nationalrail.co.uk. Network Rail will also work with the train operating companies to ensure as much information as possible can be made available at stations and on individual operator’s websites.
Network Rail has worked very hard to avert industrial action – negotiating over many months, making numerous compromises and offering a deal, which the RMT Executive described as ‘one of the best in the industry’.
Network Rail and the RMT’s Executive agreed a settlement on 14 June, which the Executive said it would recommend to its members. But, following a meeting of the RMT’s representatives, the Executive called a referendum on the offer, recommending that its members vote against it. Members voted by a narrow margin to reject the deal in a ballot that closed on 29 June.
Further informal talks yesterday (Tuesday 11 July) again ended without agreement. The company was unable to meet the union’s demand for a further substantial increase on top of the £2,500 per head raise already on offer. Today (Wednesday 12 July), the RMT announced new strike dates.
The dispute is about the pay settlement for staff in Network Rail’s operations and customer services, projects and engineering and support functions. Network Rail is striving for a railway that is affordable to passengers and offers value for money to the British taxpayer.
Network Rail has been negotiating with the trades unions on this pay settlement since 13 February 2006.
A settlement was agreed with the RMT’s executive on 14 June, which included:
- A rise of 3.2% backdated to April 2006
- A rise of RPI + 0.75% from April 2007
- An earlier introduction of the 35-hour working week half-way through year one
- A significant increase in travel subsides
- An increase in London allowances
The deal was hailed by the RMT Executive as ‘one of the best in the industry’ and one they would recommend to their members. But, following a meeting between the executive and the union’s representatives within Network Rail on 22 June, the executive ceased to support the deal and called a referendum recommending that RMT members vote to reject it. The result of the referendum was:
- 2,688 RMT members voted in the referendum out of a possible 4,800 – a turnout of 56%
- Of those who voted, 1,496 (55.7%) voted to reject the offer and 1,190 (44.3%) voted to accept it