RMT boss Mick Lynch suggests his union is willing to compromise
Could rail chaos soon be over? RMT boss Mick Lynch suggests his union is willing to compromise in talks scheduled for next week
- RMT boss suggested strikes scheduled for March 30 and April 1 could be averted
Rail strikes by the RMT could soon be over, the union’s boss indicated yesterday.
Mick Lynch suggested that the third and fourth days of strikes in the union’s latest wave of industrial action, scheduled for March 30 and April 1, could be averted.
It came as the union’s workers for 14 train operators went on strike yesterday, with another walkout planned tomorrow
Mr Lynch said he expected talks with operators to resume next week.
Suggesting that his union was willing to compromise, he said: ‘A no-strings offer would be good, but we have to deal with what’s presented to us, not just what we want.’
Mick Lynch (centre) suggested that the third and fourth days of strikes in the union’s latest wave of industrial action, scheduled for March 30 and April 1, could be averted
Speaking to the The Independent website, he added: ‘We’re looking to get back around the table next week. We want to work up some solutions to these problems and we want to get a square deal for our people.
‘If we can do that, the dispute will be ended.’
The RMT has put a new pay offer from Network Rail, also involved in the dispute, to workers in a ballot which runs until Monday.
The deal has a good chance of being accepted as the union is not recommending whether members should accept or reject it.
In another referendum in December, on a previous offer, more than a third of workers voted in favour despite the union urging members to reject it.
It is hoped that, if the Network Rail deal is accepted, it will pave the way for finding a compromise with the dispute involving train operators.
Mr Lynch insisted that support for strikes among workers was strong despite operators believing that it is crumbling.
He said: ‘I’ve got pictures from picket lines all across the country. Our members are out in support and I’m hearing reports that the service is reduced by up to 40 and 50 and 60 per cent depending where you are.
Mick Lynch (centre), general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) joins members of the union in a protest outside the Palace of Westminster on Tuesday
‘So the action is as we expected, our members are adhering to the call for action.’ However, even if the RMT reaches deals with Network Rail and the operators, a dispute with train drivers’ union Alsef will remain unresolved.
The RMT has staged 16 walkouts since June last year and Aslef eight.
The walkouts are estimated to have cost the industry at least £500 million – enough to have settled the RMT dispute at the outset.
The Network Rail offer involves a 9 per cent pay rise over last year and this year.
Operators have made the same offer but ongoing talks are understood to revolve around what strings are attached in the form of reforms to working practices.
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