Rail workers to stage walk out on day of Eurovision final after pay offer rejected

27 April 2023, 20:10

More rail strikes are expected on the same day as Eurovision
More rail strikes are expected on the same day as Eurovision. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Rail workers at 14 train operators are set to strike on the day of the Eurovision Song Contest final after talks to end the long-term pay dispute fell through.

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Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) will walk out on May 13 after turning down "clarification" on an offer from the Rail Delivery Group (RDG).

The RMT said the offer included a first-year payment of 5% but only if the union terminated its industrial mandate, meaning no further strike action could take place.

The union said discussions would then have to begin without it having any industrial leverage at the negotiating table.

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RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "The RDG have reneged on their original proposals and torpedoed these negotiations.

"No doubt their decision is due to pressure exerted on them by the Tory Government.

"Therefore, we have no alternative but to press ahead with more strike action and continue our campaign for a negotiated settlement on pay, conditions and job security.

"We are re-balloting our members and if we beat the draconian anti-trade union laws on turnout, we will have a renewed mandate for action.

"We will then put on a further programme of strike action to make the employers and the Government, who continue to hold the puppet strings, see sense in this dispute."

It comes after it was announced earlier that drivers union Aslef would also be striking on May 12 and 31, as well as June 3 - the day of the FA Cup Final.

The RMT is re-balloting its members on 14 train operating companies to determine whether it will continue taking industrial action, with a result expected on May 4.

The union said if it beats all the legal thresholds for turnout and achieves a "yes" vote, it will have a further six-month strike mandate.

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