British rail workers will go on strike on May 25 – the bank holiday Monday. The 24-hour strike of Network Rail workers will begin at 5pm seeking salary hike. The workers, including signallers and maintenance staff, will also ban overtime for 48 hours from 25 May.
The move follows a decisive vote for strikes from RMT union members.The Rail, Maritime & Transport (RMT) union said the latest pay proposals from Network Rail fell “well short” of what is required to maintain living standards and job security for nearly 16,000 staff.
The Union justified their decision saying the staff morale is very low and the travellers are not getting the right benefits.
“Our rail staff deserve a fair reward for the high-pressure, safety-critical work that they undertake day and night and the last thing that we need is a demoralised, burnt-out workforce living in fear for their futures and the message has come back loud and clear that that is exactly how they feel about the current offer from Network Rail,” the Union officials said.
The union has rejected a four-year deal worth £500 this year, followed by three years of increases matching inflation as well as a no compulsory redundancy commitment to December 2016.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said Network Rail had left members “with no option but to move to a rolling programme of industrial action”.
The union had a “massive mandate for action” from members angered at “attacks on their standards of living and their job security”, he said.
Network Rail’s proposals were “wholly inadequate” and failed to recognise the “massive pressures staff are working under to keep services running safely at a time when the company is generating profits of £1bn”, he added.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash in a statement said: “The delivery of the Bank Holiday weekend engineering works, against a background of massive pressures, backlogs of work and nigh-on impossible targets is down to one thing – the skill, professionalism and sheer hard graft of the Network Rail workforce. It is a scandal that those same staff who were heroes over the weekend are being forced to ballot to secure the basics of fair pay and job security.
“RMT has made it clear that a one off, non-consolidated, lump-sum payment this year is wholly inadequate and fails to recognise the massive pressures staff are working under to keep services running. It is our members battling to keep Britain moving around the clock and they deserve a fair share from Network Rail for their incredible efforts. This a company making profits of a billion pounds a year where the boardroom is awash with cash.
“In addition, we are extremely concerned that the “No Compulsory Redundancy” commitment only applies to the first two years of the four year deal.
“RMT is in no doubt that this leaves Operations and Maintenance members extremely vulnerable, especially with the continued development of Rail Operating Centres and the on-going cuts programme at Network Rail.
“Our rail staff deserve a fair reward for the high-pressure, safety-critical work that they undertake day and night and the last thing that we need is a demoralised, burnt-out workforce living in fear for their futures and the message has come back loud and clear that that is exactly how they feel about the current offer from Network Rail.”