A year on from the start of the first national rail strike since the 1980s, disputes over wages, jobs and working conditions seem harder than ever to resolve. The main rail union, RMT, is expected to announce more strikes in the next few days.
Speaking exclusively for independenceRMT general secretary Mick Lynch warned: “Our CEOs will meet again this week and I’m pretty sure they will ease the strike action.”
As of June 21, 2022, members of the RMT union have gone 28 times.
While a dispute involving Network Rail has been resolved, talks with train operators – including all the leading long-haul and passenger transport companies – appear to have stalled.
Train operators are represented by the Rail Transit Group (RDG), with every agreement signed by ministers – as the final costs will be covered by the taxpayer.
“We are always available to discuss settlement and negotiate an agreement, but not available,” Mr.
“The government has locked down the dispute, and I am afraid it has gone silent on the radio.
“We will not give up. We had a meeting with our representatives last week and the message was solid: that they wanted to move on.
“I do not know what that is [industrial action] It will be at this stage, but it will be another campaign of action to try to perpetuate the dispute so we can reach a solution for our people.”
A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: “It is completely wrong to say that the government is blocking a deal.
“Minister of Transport” [Mark Harper] and the Minister of Railways [Huw Merriman] met regularly with union leaders and facilitated a fair and reasonable offer, including a generous raise and no mandatory redundancies.
“The government wants to put an end to this dispute, but that requires union leaders to put forward a motion to vote for their members.”
Mr. Lynch emphasized that the recent vote to continue industrial action was really a referendum on the employer’s “last and best offer”, and a separate vote. would be unnecessary.
At the heart of the matter is reforming the way it works – what RMT leadership calls “cutting”.
The general secretary said: “They want us to just give up our terms and conditions – where we say we will negotiate or consult at a second stage, where we have not even seen the details. , but we have to declare the dispute over.
“No responsible union would do that.”
On the employer side, there is a sense that negotiations have reached a dead end, with RMT’s executive committee reluctant to seal a possible deal – or put it on the line. votes of members.
The next step could be to impose changes such as closing the booking office or negotiating with individual train operators – which Mr Lynch described as “harder to deal with on both sides”.
Aslef, the train drivers association, will resume national industrial action on July 2 with a six-day ban on overtime for members working for more than a dozen ship-operating companies.