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RAIL bosses’ latest offer to end six months of strikes across the network was rejected today by the RMT union, which warned of “thousands of job losses and the use of unsafe practices.”
RMT condemned the “unacceptable” proposals from the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents the 14 train operators involved.
Talks continued today ahead of the next round of industrial action — a series of intermittent 48-hour strikes between next Tuesday and January 7.
Bosses claimed that their pay offer amounts to an 8 per cent pay rise by next year — still below soaring double-digit inflation — but the union pointed out that the deal is conditional on damaging changes to working practices.
These include Sunday working where it is not in place already, train doors being operated by drivers, not guards, and “repurposing or closing” ticket offices nationwide.
Other reforms, such as more part-time contracts and flexible working, would “bring in a more diverse workforce who could fit in shifts around other commitments,” the RDG said.
The group promised that there would be no compulsory redundancies until April 2024 and urged the union to “avoid upsetting the travel plans of millions and causing real hardship for businesses” over Christmas.
However, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said that the offer “does not meet any of our criteria for securing a settlement on long-term job security, a decent pay rise and protecting working conditions.”
The proposal is separate to one made on Sunday by state-run Network Rail, which maintains Britain’s rail infrastructure.
That package, which includes a 9 per cent wage boost by next year and no compulsory redundancies for controllers and workers in general grades until January 2025, is still being considered by the RMT national executive. White-collar rail union TSSA is still assessing the two offers.
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