Railway workers vote for ‘biggest strike in modern history’

Railway employees have voted overwhelmingly to strike in a dispute over jobs, pay and circumstances, the RMT union has introduced.

The outcome was introduced inside 4 hours of the poll of greater than 40,000 railway employees closing.

The RMT mentioned: “Railway employees have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike motion throughout Community Rail and the practice working corporations, within the largest endorsement for industrial motion by railway employees since privatisation.”

Of the 71 per cent of these eligible to vote, 89 per cent have been in favour of strike motion – representing 63 per cent of the workforce balloted, and greater than 25,000 employees.

RMT members working for Community Rail and 14 out of 15 of the practice operators voted for “strike motion and motion wanting strike”.

The practice operators whose RMT members voted to strike embrace Avanti West Coast, Larger Anglia, GWR, LNER, Northern and South Western Railway.

LNER issued a press release saying: “We’re conscious of potential industrial motion introduced by the RMT. We can be reviewing the end result of this proposed industrial motion and can present updates on how this would possibly influence LNER companies.”

Workers working for GTR – masking Southern, Thameslink, Gatwick Categorical and Nice Northern – voted solely in favour of “motion wanting strike”.

The final secretary of the RMT, Mick Lynch, mentioned: “Right this moment’s overwhelming endorsement by railway employees is a vindication of the union’s method and sends a transparent message that members need a respectable pay rise, job safety and no obligatory redundancies.

“Our NEC [National Executive Committee] will now meet to debate a timetable for strike motion from mid-June, however we sincerely hope ministers will encourage the employers to return to the negotiating desk and hammer out an affordable settlement with the RMT.

The union says it is going to now be “demanding pressing talks with Community Rail and the 15 practice working corporations that have been balloted to discover a negotiated settlement to the dispute over pay, jobs and security”.

Andrew Haines, Community Rail’s chief government, mentioned: “The RMT has jumped the gun right here as everybody loses if there’s a strike. We all know our individuals are involved about job safety and pay. As a public physique we’ve been engaged on providing a pay enhance that taxpayers can afford, and we proceed to debate this with our trades unions.

“We urge the RMT to sit down down with us and proceed to speak, not stroll, in order that we are able to discover a compromise and keep away from damaging industrial motion.

“We’re at a key level within the railway’s restoration from the pandemic. The taxpayer has offered the trade with £16bn price of further life help over the past two years and that can’t proceed. Journey habits have modified endlessly and the railway has to vary as properly to adapt to this new actuality.

“Any industrial motion now could be disastrous for our trade’s restoration and would massively influence very important provide and freight chains. It will additionally serve to undermine our collective capacity to afford the pay will increase we need to make.”

Steve Montgomery, group chair of the Rail Supply Group, representing practice operators, mentioned: “Our railways should adapt to draw extra passengers again and scale back our operating prices. It isn’t truthful to ask taxpayers to proceed to shoulder the burden when there are different very important companies that want public help.

“No one wins when industrial motion threatens to disrupt the lives and livelihoods of passengers and companies and places the trade’s restoration in danger. We urge the RMT management to behave responsibly, and to speak to us to discover a approach to keep away from damaging industrial motion and safe the long-term way forward for the trade.”

“Each enterprise desires to help its workers and the railway is not any exception. All practice operators need to provide their workers a pay rise and are working exhausting to make that occur. However, as an trade, we’ve to vary our methods of working and enhance productiveness to assist pay our personal approach.

“The alternate options of asking taxpayers to shoulder the burden after authorities has contributed over £16bn to the trade throughout covid or asking passengers to pay even larger fares once they too are feeling the pinch, merely isn’t truthful.”  

 Transport for Wales and ScotRail weren’t concerned within the RMT poll – however ScotRail is at present canceiling 700 trains per day because of a dispute involving the practice drivers’ union, Aslef.

The white-collar rail union, TSSA, is threatening what its basic secretary known as “a summer time of discontent”. Members are being consulted forward of a attainable strike poll if pay fails to maintain tempo with inflation – which hit 9 per cent final week.

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