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Mick Lynch plots Bonfire Night strikes as he accuses rail bosses of 'torpedoing negotiations'
19 October 2022, 10:25 | Updated: 19 October 2022, 10:32
The UK's rail networks are to be crippled by three more days of rail strikes after the RMT union accused Network Rail of "torpedoing" negotiations.
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Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union will walk out on Bonfire Night, as well as November 3, 5 and 7.
In separate disputes, RMT members on London Overground and London Underground will strike on November 3.
The union accused Network Rail of attempting to impose "drastic changes" in working practices on its staff and of writing directly to staff, "undermining delicate talks".
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "The dishonesty of Network Rail bosses has reached a new low in this national rail dispute.
"On the one hand they were telling our negotiators that they were prepared to do a deal while planning to torpedo negotiations by imposing unacceptable changes to our members' terms and conditions.
"Our members are livid with these duplicitous tactics, and they will now respond in kind with sustained strike action."
Tim Shoveller, Network Rail's chief negotiator, said: "A two-year 8 per cent deal, with discounted travel and a new extended job guarantee to January 2025, is on the table ready to be put to our staff.
"Unfortunately, the leadership of the RMT seem intent on more damaging strikes rather than giving their members a vote on our offer.
"Me and my team remain available for serious talks and continue to negotiate in good faith.
"Our sector has a £2 billion hole in its budget with many fewer passengers using our services.
"That reality is not going to change anytime soon and a fair and affordable and improved deal is on the table, ready to be implemented if our people were only offered the opportunity."
A Department for Transport spokesperson said: "This is incredibly disappointing.
"Through no fault of their own, millions of people will once again have their day-to-day lives disrupted and be unable to attend work, school or vital doctor's appointments.
"Our railway is in desperate need of modernisation but all more strikes will do is take it back to the dark ages and push passengers further away.
"We urge union bosses to reconsider this divisive action and instead work with employers, not against them, to agree a new way forward."