|Volume 52 Number 12, May 28, 2022||ARCHIVE||HOME||JBCENTRE||SUBSCRIBE|
Railway workers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action in the struggle over jobs, pay and conditions across Network Rail and the train operating companies, in the biggest endorsement for industrial action by railway workers since privatisation. RMT members working for Network Rail and 14 out of 15 of the train operators voted for "strike action and action short of strike". 71% of those balloted took part in the vote with 89% voting in favour of strike action and only 11% voting against. The result was announced within four hours of the ballot of more than 40,000 railway workers.
The RMT said: "Railway workers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action across Network Rail and the train operating companies, in the biggest endorsement for industrial action by railway workers since privatisation."
The RMT union will now be demanding urgent talks with Network Rail and the 15 train operating companies that were balloted to find a negotiated settlement to the dispute over pay, jobs and safety.
The train operators whose RMT members voted to strike include Avanti West Coast, Greater Anglia, GWR, LNER, Northern and South Western Railway.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch: "Today's overwhelming endorsement by railway workers is a vindication of the union's approach and sends a clear message that members want a decent pay rise, job security and no compulsory redundancies. Our NEC will now meet to discuss a timetable for strike action from mid-June, but we sincerely hope ministers will encourage the employers to return to the negotiating table and hammer out a reasonable settlement with the RMT."
Eddie Dempsey, Assistant General Secretary of the RMT, told BBC Today: "Some of our members are in the third year of a pay freeze. Most of our membership is on around £24,000. We kept this country moving during the pandemic. We don't think it's unreasonable to say RPI is at 11.1 per cent, we want a pay rise."