Network Rail strikes suspended

Submitted by AWL on 28 May, 2015 - 9:43 Author: Ollie Moore

Rail union RMT has suspended strikes in its campaign for decent pay and job security at Network Rail. Strikes, which involved both RMT and smaller rail union TSSA, were planned for 24-25 May click here for more, but both unions suspended the strikes after Network Rail made a revised pay offer.

The new deal, which reduced the length of the agreement from four years to two, offered a 1% increase in the first year, followed by 1.4% in the second, rising to 2.1% if unions agreed to various restructures.

However, consultation with Network Rail reps and members in RMT returned overwhelming opposition to the new deal, and the union named new strike dates, for 4-5 and 9-11 June. Many Network Rail reps and activists were frustrated that the union's leadership suspended the strike for such meagre improvements, especially when the action had such a solid mandate.

On Monday 1 June, Network Rail made a second “revised” offer, promising a 2% increase in year one, followed by an increase pegged to the Retail Price Index (RPI) in year two. Details of the offer are on the RMT website, here. In response, RMT again suspended its planned strikes. A meeting of RMT Network Rail reps on Friday 5 June will discuss the revised offer.

Smaller rail union TSSA did not reinstate its strikes, and is balloting its members on the new deal, in a vote due to conclude on 13 June. Unite, which has a very small number of members at Network Rail, is also now consulting is members on the deal, and says it will move to a full strike ballot if the deal is rejected in a referendum that closes on 10 June.

Workers' Liberty members are working with activists from across the labour movement to promote a statement of solidarity with the strikes, which can be found online here. To add your name, please email backtherailworkers@gmail.com.