Rail union members will vote on new strike action 'soon', RMT's Mick Lynch says

11 February 2023, 17:47

Mick Lynch said the RMT is seeking a "continuous mandate" to strike throughout the year
Mick Lynch said the RMT is seeking a "continuous mandate" to strike throughout the year. Picture: Getty

By Adam Solomons

Rail workers will 'soon' be balloted on strike action planned for later this year, RMT union boss Mick Lynch revealed.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Union members yesterday rejected the latest "dreadful" pay offer from employers the Rail Delivery Group and Network Rail.

Lynch, whose body has 40,000 members, told the BBC that rail workers feel "under attack" as the government seeks to "make an example" out of striking railway staff.

He also said the RMT is seeking an overlapping "continuous mandate" from its members, allowing the union to stage strikes until the summer.

Lynch said: "Ministers have told me that face to face - Mark Harper and [transport minister] Huw Merriman - that they can't offer us anything fresh because it would set a precedent for nurses and other public sector workers, and they want to hold this line.

“We want to keep talking to the companies. Our position is that we would like them to come to the table with a non-conditional offer … but the government is telling them they can’t do that.”

Network Rail and the Rail Delivery Group have offered a 9% pay rise in the current offer.

But the RMT has demanded any deal meets the cost of inflation, which is currently 10%.

Read more: RMT rejects 'dreadful' offer from rail companies to settle row over pay and working conditions

Read more: 'We're in it for the long haul': Rail union boss warns strikes could last for years as workers walk out again

Empty platforms are pictured at King's Cross station on a day of industrial action
Empty platforms are pictured at King's Cross station on a day of industrial action. Picture: PA

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: "It is now clear that no realistic offer is ever going to be good enough for the RMT leadership."

Network Rail chief negotiator Tim Shoveller said the RMT was "condemning its members to a further round of fruitless, pointless and costly strikes".

He added: "We have made multiple concessions, compromises and offers, while the RMT has shifted on nothing.

"It's time for a second referendum on our new, revised offer and time to end this and work together to rebuild our railway."

Ambulance workers stage fresh strikes in pay dispute

Last week just under 2,000 Abellio bus drivers staged walkouts, affecting routes in south and west London, while in Scotland rolling teacher strikes rumbled on with education workers on strike in South Lanarkshire and the Western Isles.

Simon Weller, Aslef's assistant general secretary, said: "I don't know whether to point the finger of blame at the ineptitude of the Department for Transport or the Rail Delivery Group.

"We would struggle to recommend a deal of a 4% pay rise for last year and 4% this year if there were no conditions attached, but we are being asked to give up collective bargaining and effectively agree to a no-strike deal.

"Obviously it was going to be rejected - it was designed to fail."

ASLEF's boss Mick Whelan says his union is in industrial action for the 'long haul'

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

More than 1,800 jobs and 272 stores are at risk as major retailer Carpetright is headed towards administration

Carpetright heads towards administration in move that would put all of its 272 stores and nearly 2,000 jobs at risk

Five men died on the OceanGate Titan vessel.

Plaque to be laid next to Titanic in honour of Titan submersible victim

The incident at Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol yesterday

Human remains found in suitcases dumped near Bristol bridge 'belong to two men'

Justice Secretary Shabana Mahmood, with Governor Sarah Bott, during a visit to HMP Bedford in Harpur, Bedfordshire

Thousands of prisoners are to be released after serving just 40 per cent of sentences as jails face 'collapse'

Supermarkets have altered their opening hours for the Euro 2024 final

Get the supplies in: Every supermarket closing early this Sunday as England take on Spain in Euro 2024 final

The Princess Royal has returned to public duties for the first time since her head injury

Princess Anne returns to public duties for first time since horse-related accident

Michael White has been removed from the World Snooker Tour

Professional snooker player jailed for assaulting girlfriend and removed from world tour

England's bus parade would travel to Buckingham Palace to be honoured by King Charles and the Prince of Wales

England to have open-top bus parade through London if Southgate's side beat Spain in Euro 2024 final

Police have launched an investigation after the death of a baby at an address in Taviton street, Camden

Body of newborn baby found in bin as murder investigation launched

It is unknown how the whales became stranded.

Pod of 77 whales dies after becoming stranded on Scottish beach

Gavin Plumb was given three life sentences for plotting to abduct and murder Holly Willoughby

'Depraved loner' Gavin Plumb given three life sentences for plot to kidnap, rape and murder Holly Willoughby

Forensics investigators at the scene in Bushey

Man, 26, arrested on suspicion of triple crossbow murder after three women found dead at Hertfordshire home

Brits face a weekend washout as thunderstorms hit the southwest.

Brits face horror start to weekend as Met Office issues eight-hour thunderstorm warning

Security guard Gavin Plumb has been found guilty of plotting to kidnap, rape and murder television presenter Holly Willoughby.

'Depraved and vile' plot to kidnap, rape and murder Holly Willoughby has had 'life-changing' impact on star

The former president has expressed his concern over Biden's ability to beat Donald Trump.

Obama 'concerned' as pressure mounts on Joe Biden to pull out of presidential race in wake of Putin gaffe

Jay Slater vanished in Tenerife on June 17

'Significant' new clue in Jay Slater mystery as investigator shares update with police