Railway workers at 14 train firms to stage fresh strike action next month

Railway workers at 14 train companies are to stage a fresh strike next month in a long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions, it has been announced.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) will walk out on June 2.

The union said an offer from the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) was unacceptable, adding that no new proposals had been made since the last strike on May 13.

The strike on June 2 will see 20,000 railway workers in catering, train managers and station staff take action, affecting train services throughout the country.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “The Government is once again not allowing the Rail Delivery Group to make an improved offer that we can consider.

“Therefore, we have to pursue our industrial campaign to win a negotiated settlement on jobs, pay and conditions.

“Ministers cannot just wish this dispute away.

“They underestimate the strength of feeling our members, who have just given us a new six-month strike mandate, continue to support the campaign and the action and are determined to see this through until we get an acceptable resolution.

“The Government now needs to unlock the RDG and allow them to make an offer that can be put to a referendum of our members.”

An RDG spokesperson said: “In recent discussions with the RMT, we have continued to stand by the fair, industry-level dispute resolution proposal agreed line by line with their negotiating team, which would have resolved this dispute and given our lowest-paid staff a rise of up to 13%.

“By calling more strike action, the RMT leadership have chosen to prolong this dispute without ever giving their members a chance to have a say on their own offer.

“Instead, they will be subject to yet more lost pay through industrial action, customers will suffer more disruption, and the industry will continue to suffer huge damage at a time when the railway is taking more than its fair share from taxpayers to keep trains running post-Covid.

“We remain open and willing to engage in national-level talks so that we can secure a pay rise for our people and the long-term future of an industry vital to Britain’s economy.”

Train drivers are also striking in coming weeks in their ongoing dispute over pay.

Members of Aslef will walk out on May 31 and June 3, the day of the FA Cup Final at Wembley.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “It’s extremely disappointing that for the second time in a month, RMT has decided to call strikes on the same weekend as Aslef strikes, going out of their way to make travelling by train to the FA Cup final, Epsom Derby and a number of music concerts more difficult for thousands of people.

“The Transport Secretary and the rail minister have facilitated talks and there continues to be a fair and reasonable offer on the table, yet the RMT’s executive committee’s actions will see their members lose money through strikes, rather than having the chance to vote on the offer and bring this dispute to an end.”