Railway boss earns 20 times the wages of a train guard as more than half of Brits hit back

Network Rail chief Andrew Haines earned nearly £600,000 a year last year, with many train guards earning £30,000, as pickets said strikes were a last resort

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Train strikes: Boris Johnson calls RMT action “unnecessary”

Striking rail workers have turned their anger on fatcat bosses, who are raking in huge salaries, as a poll showed most Brits support this week’s strikes.

Millions of passengers faced travel chaos on Monday and businesses were hit by a massive loss of customers.

But while the picket lines were crowded with workers striking for better pay amid a livelihood crisis, the Network Rail boss turned out to be making more than 13 times the average train worker.

Andrew Haines took in an annual salary of £593,000 last year. That’s far more than the £30,000 that striking train guard David King gets.

The 40-year-old, who said he hadn’t had a pay rise in three years, was one of the millions of key workers Boris Johnson praised during lockdown for keeping the country moving.

Train stations were empty again today in much of the UK


Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

Father-of-two David insisted the strike was a “last resort” after lengthy negotiations.

He added: “All we want is fair pay. We don’t put a number on that, but inflation is at 11%.

“We can’t keep up with the cost of living at £18,000 to £30,000 a year. It’s not like some managers’ phone salaries.

“Frontline workers are at risk of redundancies and changes to their salaries and pensions.

“They want to tear up contracts for a fire and reinstatement policy, which we saw at P&O. We have to stand up to this and we hope that in doing so we can help other public sector workers.”

Train guard Dave King said the strike was a “last resort” after lengthy negotiations


Andy Commins/Daily Mirror)

David, from Newcastle, told how his mortgage payments have grown to more than £500 a month.

But while he and his colleagues struggle through, Mr. Haines, who joined Network Rail in August 2018, will have no such worries. His salary is 19.8 times higher than David’s.

He was also paid £3,000 a year for a car allowance, private health insurance, an annual travel allowance and life insurance. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps claimed the average rail worker earns £44,000. But the RMT union insists it’s more like £31,000.

And other Britons, grappling with rising costs and stagnant wages, sympathized with the striking workforce.

According to a poll, 57 per cent of Britons believe workers have good reason to take industrial action


Andy Commins/Daily Mirror)

A ComRes poll showed 58% support for the action, the largest in 30 years. RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch warned the dispute could drag on for months. And Mr Johnson told the country “we must prepare to stay the course”.

Mr Lynch said: “RMT members are leading the way for all workers who are fed up with their wages and conditions being slashed by a mix of big business profits and government policy.” Take home,” saying firms have coined this during the pandemic, along with £16billion in government subsidies.

He added: “The railways made a £500m profit last year when fares and passengers were at an all-time low. And if workers’ wages don’t rise, that means a transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich.” It was estimated that only one in five trains ran yesterday, and then on the busiest routes.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps claimed the average rail worker earns £44,000



Much of Britain had no passenger trains throughout the day, including large parts of Scotland and Wales and all of Cornwall and Dorset.

Service is only expected to be increased to 60% today ahead of a second planned day of strikes tomorrow if talks between the RMT and rail bosses collapse. A third walkout is planned for Saturday. London Underground services have also been suspended on the vast majority of lines due to a workers’ strike.

The roads were busier than normal yesterday as people tried to drive to work, to see family or to take the children to school.

Trade body UKHospitality predicted the strikes could cost the sector £540million.

More than 40,000 RMT members on Network Rail and 13 operators are going out today


Peter Manning/LNP)

But Mr Shapps again refused to speak to union bosses. He said: “I don’t usually meet with them because it’s a diversion.”

The rail strikes threaten to spread to other sectors as a summer of discontent looms.

Communications Workers Union leaders confirmed yesterday that more than 115,000 Royal Mail workers are to be elected consecutively for industrial action over pay.

Workers were drawn into the line of rail strikes when frontbenchers were told to stay away from RMT pickets. At least 15 of them resisted the orders of leader Keir Starmer.

The Department for Transport said: “Unions have shut down large parts of the rail network, hit local businesses and cut people off from hospitals, schools and jobs.

“However, the data shows that many people are now able to work from home, so unions are not having the impact that was hoped.”

A Hinkley Point nuclear power plant worker named Jamie yesterday praised the Mirror for supporting oppressed workers. In a tweet he praised us as the “right paper” for workers.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/rail-chief-earns-18-times-27295928 Railway boss earns 20 times the wages of a train guard as more than half of Brits hit back

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