Rail strikes could FINALLY come to an end: RMT edge toward pay deal

Rail strikes could FINALLY come to an end: Breakthrough after 18 months as RMT union boss and train firms reach deal over bitter pay dispute – averting Christmas and New Year travel chaos

Rail strikes that have crippled the country could finally come to an end after 18 months after union bosses accepted a pay offer. 

The bitter pay dispute involving railway workers over pay and jobs has sparked travel chaos for months, leaving self-employed workers out of pocket and forcing staff to work from home.

But after talks between the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) and the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, a so-called memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been developed and sets out a process for a mutually agreed way forward.

That will include a backdated 2022 pay rise for staff and job security guarantees, the RMT said.

According to the BBC, the MOU involves a backdated pay rise for 2022 of 5%, or £1,750, and job security guarantees such as no compulsory redundancies until the end of 2024. 

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said the MOU was a ‘welcome development’. 

Members of ASLEF on the official picket line outside Reading station on a day of strike action in September

RMT members in each of the train operating companies involved in the row will now vote on the suggested agreement.

If accepted, the MOU will terminate the national dispute mandate, creating a pause and respite from industrial action over the Christmas period and into next spring, allowing for negotiations on proposed reforms to take place at local train operating company level, the union said.

A referendum by RMT members working across 14 train operators on whether to accept the agreement, closes on November 30.

A spokesperson for the Department for Transport said the decision to put the agreement to a vote was ‘a positive step towards resolving this dispute’.

‘We hope RMT members will recognise the benefits, accept this offer and put an end to the RMT´s industrial action,’ the spokesperson said. 

Mick Lynch added: ‘This is a welcome development and our members will now decide in an e-referendum whether they want to accept this new offer from the RDG.’

An RDG spokesperson said: ‘These discussions would be aimed at addressing the companies’ proposals on the changing needs and expectations of passengers as well as unlocking further increases for staff, in order to help to secure a sustainable, long-term future for the railway and all those who work on it.’

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