Bank holiday rail strike to cause wide spread travel disruptions

RMT's National Rail members are to walk out for 24 hours from 5pm on Bank Holiday Monday.

RMT's National Rail members are to walk out for 24 hours from 5pm on Bank Holiday Monday. - Credit: Archant

Network Rail workers will stage a 24-hour walkout from 5pm on Bank Holiday Monday May 25, the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) have announced.

National Rail members of the RMT backed industrial action following on-going rows over pay and conditions and job security.

Of the largest rail union’s 16,000 members, 60 per cent voted in its ballot, with 80 per cent voting for strike action and 92 per cent voting for action short of strike action.

The announcement of the ballot results on Tuesday came just hours after new laws were confirmed by business secretary Sajid Javid which will see “significant changes” made to current strike laws.

At present, strikes are valid if the are backed by a majority of those balloted.

However under new laws, strikes, which would affect essential public services, would need the backing of 50 per cent of eligible union members.

Workers have rejected National Rail’s current pay offer, leading to next weekend’s strike, which includes a £500 payment to its workers in 2015, pay rises matching inflation in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and a “no compulsory redundancy” commitment until December 31, next year.

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RMT general sectetary Mick Cash said: “Our members have decisively rejected the pay package offered by Network Rail.

“This shows the anger of safety-critical staff across the rail network at attacks on their standards of living and their job security.

“It is now down to National Rail to start taking this issue seriously, to understand the deep-seated grievance felt by their staff and to come forward with a renewed offer which protects pay and jobs.”

Mick Cash has previously called the rail network’s offer of a £500 one off payment as “inadequate”.

Another union, TSSA, is also balloting its 3,000 members but results have yet to be be announced.

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