A TRAIN company has urged the RMT union to push for a “quick fix” to a wage dispute to avoid strikes that could paralyze rail services across the country.
Union members at railway companies and Network Rail will be out for 24 hours on July 27th. The RMT strike action last month paralyzed Britain’s rail network.
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) workers will join the strike later this month after a vote by RMT members backed industrial action.
Angie Doll, Chief Operating Officer at GTR, said: “We are extremely disappointed that passengers across the country are now facing fears of further rail disruption.
“Our focus remains on encouraging RMT to work with the industry to find a quick fix.”
It is understood the company which runs the Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express services will be offering a heavily reduced service that day and the disruption will impact the following day.
Only one skeleton service was operating across Sussex during the three days of industrial action last month, with GTR services suspended in the western and eastern parts of Sussex.
Trains started earlier and finished later, there was no Gatwick Express service on strike days.
A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents railway companies across the UK, said: “This latest round of action will create even more misery for millions of people and steal money from the industry, while passenger numbers remain 20 per cent down on last year. Pandemic levels, making it harder to afford a raise.
“We want to give our people a raise. But to do that we need to update work practices, some of which are decades old, so we can adapt to new, more leisure-oriented travel patterns, including incorporating Sunday into the standard work week so services are more reliable at weekends.
“The alternative is to ask taxpayers to shoulder the burden, having contributed over £600 per household to keep the railways running during the pandemic, or ask passengers to pay even higher fares if they can both feel the need – and that’s just not fair.
“Instead of staging more counterproductive strikes, we are asking the RMT to come back to the table so we can strike a deal that works for our employees, our passengers and the taxpayer.”
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said a salary offer from Network Rail represented a real pay cut for members and described the proposal as “paltry”.
He said: “Strike action is the only way we have to show both the rail industry and the government that this dispute will continue until we reach a negotiated settlement.
“The public bothered by our strike action needs to understand that it is the government’s shackles on Network Rail and the train operators that mean the rail network will be shut down for 24 hours.”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20278876.rail-firm-urges-rmt-work-resolution-avoid-strike/?ref=rss The railway company urges RMT to work towards a solution to avoid a strike