You can add your voice to the tens of thousands of comments posted daily on Express.co.uk and have your say on the big issues facing the country today.
Half of Britain’s trains across England, Scotland and Wales will close completely during the scheduled strikes on June 21, 23, and 25, and the ones still running will operate on a significantly reduced service as more than 50,000 workers stage the walkout.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said the union had “no option” but to act after train operators appeared to have remained stubborn in not offering a pay increase.
Mr Lynch told LBC’s Tom Swarbrick on Sunday: “Most of our members haven’t had a pay rise in two or three years – that includes Network Rail and the train operating companies. Our people are getting poorer while their jobs are under threat. And if you survive the jobs cull that they’ve got in mind your working conditions will be diluted and you’ll be worse off.”
Mr Lynch said any pay deal should rise in line with inflation, which reached a staggering nine percent in April. However, Mr Lynch said union chiefs are pushing for a pay deal linked to talks in December, which would see workers receive a pay rise of 7.1 percent.
He said: “At the time of the Network Rail wage agreement, which was due in December, it was 7.1 percent, the retail price index. “That’s what the cost of living would have been at the time these deals should have been closed, so we’re going to negotiate to see if we can strike a deal that reflects that cost of living.”
On the strikes, Andrew Haines, Network Rail’s chief executive said: “We know that the cost of living has increased and we want to give our people a pay rise, but the RMT must recognise we are a public body and any pay increase has to be affordable for taxpayers.”
Do you back the train unions’ demand for a seven percent pay rise?
HAVE YOUR SAY RIGHT NOW – JOIN THE EXPRESS READER DEBATE IN OUR COMMENTS SECTION.