RMT chief warns Iain Dale not to 'throw train drivers' pay at him'

26 May 2022, 19:58 | Updated: 26 May 2022, 22:02

By Megan Hinton

The chief of the RMT Union warned LBC's Iain Dale not to 'throw rail workers pay at him' claiming most employees are "moderately paid" and "deserve a pay rise".

Speaking to Iain Dale on Thursday evening, Mick Lynch defended the proposed plans for the biggest national rail strike in decades saying staff cuts will create "a muggers' paradise" across railway stations.

Mr Lynch said: "Inflation is rocketing and you will come back to me in a minute telling me how much train drivers are paid."

To which Iain Dale interrupted: "I haven't mentioned it."

Mick Lynch continued: "But you will get there in the end... But the vast majority of our people are moderately paid.

"They are paid 25-30k for a heavy social commitment, they are struggling like everyone else.

"And we think, and they think obviously because of the turnout, they deserve a pay rise.

"But the issue at the heart of it is job security, we don't want those jobs stripped out, we don't want a railway that is depopulated and becomes slightly dystopian with no staff on the railways, no staff on the platforms, you can't buy a ticket, and it becomes a muggers' paradise which did happen in the 80's in London before Mayor Livingstone re-staffed the stations.

"So we don’t want that happening."

Read more: Fury as Tube strike set to cause travel chaos for Queen's Platinum Jubilee weekend

On Tuesday, railway workers voted in favour of strike action over a bitter dispute about jobs, pay and conditions, threatening massive disruption to the network in the coming weeks.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at Network Rail and 15 train operators backed launching a campaign of industrial action.

The union's leaders will now decide when to call strikes, which will bring huge parts of the network to a standstill.

The RMT said it was the biggest endorsement for industrial action by railway workers since privatisation.

A total of 71% of those balloted took part in the vote with 89% voting in favour of strike action and 11% voting against.

The union will now be demanding urgent talks with Network Rail and the 15 train operating companies.

A walkout by Network Rail signallers will have a significant impact on services.

It is possible that trains will only run for part of the day, such as from 7am to 7pm and only on main lines. Services could be reduced to around a fifth of the normal weekday timetable.

Action is also due in Euston and Green Park Tube stations on June 3, two crucial stations during the Jubilee weekend, and across the Tube network on June 6.