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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Alan Jones

Rail workers vote to continue taking strike action for next six months

Rail workers have voted to continue taking strike action for the next six months in their long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said around 20,000 of its members were balloted across 14 rail companies with all of them individually achieving more than a 50% turnout and overwhelming “yes” votes for further strikes.

Overall, 89.9% of members voted for more strike action on a turnout of 63.6%.

The union warned of fresh strikes unless the bitter dispute is resolved.

If no new offer is forthcoming, we will once again take strike action in defence of our members' livelihoods

Mick Lynch, RMT general secretary

Unions have to reballot their members every six months before they can continue with industrial action.

It is the fourth time RMT members have voted on strikes in a dispute which started in the summer of 2022.

The union has held a series of walkouts since then, causing huge disruption to rail services.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “I congratulate our members for delivering a decisive mandate for future industrial action as we pursue a negotiated settlement of jobs, pay and conditions.

“This ringing endorsement of RMT’s approach to the dispute now means we have industrial leverage to secure an improved offer from the Rail Delivery Group.

“The Government who controls this dispute through a contractual mandate over the train operating companies must now allow the Rail Delivery Group to put forward a revised offer so we can work towards reaching a settlement.

“However, if no new offer is forthcoming, we will once again take strike action in defence of our members’ livelihoods.”

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “The Government has facilitated a fair and reasonable offer that’s on the table for all rail workers, which RMT members at Network Rail voted to overwhelmingly accept earlier this year.

“The RMT leadership has asked their members at train operators to risk losing more pay through potential strike action rather than giving them the chance to end this dispute.”

A spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group said: “We want to resolve this dispute and are acutely aware of the damaging impact it’s having on our passengers, our people and the many businesses up and down the country who rely on rail.

“We call on the RMT executive to bring an end to this dispute and put the deal – which offers job security guarantees and a pay rise of up to 13% to the lowest paid workers – to its members so we can end the uncertainty and move forward with delivering a better railway for our customers.”

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