Timed to create four days of disruption along with ASLEF action
RMT generally represents rail staff other than drivers
May 19, 2023
The RMT has announced that its members will be taking strike action on Friday 2 June as part of the national dispute with the train operating companies (TOCs).
This will involve 20,000 railway workers including those working in catering, train managers and station staff.
Companies that will be affected include South Western Railway (SWR), Great Western Railway and Gatwick Express. Disruption on SWR is likely to be significant because, unlike other TOCs, many of its drivers are RMT members rather than with ASLEF.
The union says that the previous offer from the Rail Delivery Group, which represents the 14 TOCs involved in the dispute, remains unacceptable and there has been no new contact since the strike held on 13 May.
The day appears to have been chosen to co-ordinate with the ASLEF strikes taking place around the same time and the combined action of the two unions is likely to lead to four consecutive days of disruption on the rail network between 31 May and 3 June.
Planned Train Strikes
Wednesday 31 May – ASLEF
Friday 2 June RMT
Saturday 3 June - ASLEF
It is likely that evening services on some lines will be affected on the days before and after each strike, so passengers should also check the last train times on the evenings before strike days and the mornings following strikes.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "The government is once again not allowing the Rail Delivery Group to make an improved offer that we can consider.
"Therefore, we have to pursue our industrial campaign to win a negotiated settlement on jobs, pay and conditions. Ministers cannot just wish this dispute away.
"They underestimate the strength of feeling our members who have just given us a new 6-month strike mandate, continue to support the campaign and the action and are determined to see this through until we get an acceptable resolution.
"The government now needs to unlock the RDG and allow them to make an offer that can be put to a referendum of our members."
RMT members were reballoted on strike action with the results announced earlier this month showing overwhelming support among members for continued industrial action.
The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents the 14 train companies has offered a backdated pay rise of 5% for last year with the settlement for the current year dependent on reforms to be negotiated with individual operators.
The ASLEF union, meanwhile, has rejected a two-year offer for drivers of a backdated pay rise of 4% for 2022 and a 4% increase this year.
ASLEF has also imposed an overtime ban across 15 train operators between 15 and 20 May inclusive, as well as on 1 June which may lead to short-notice cancellations with wide regional variations.
A Rail Delivery Group spokesperson said, “In recent discussions with the RMT we have continued to stand by the fair, industry level dispute resolution proposal agreed line by line with their negotiating team, which would have resolved this dispute and given our lowest paid staff a rise of up to 13%.
“By calling more strike action the RMT leadership have chosen to prolong this dispute without ever giving their members a chance to have a say on their own offer. Instead, they will be subject to yet more lost pay through industrial action, customers will suffer more disruption, and the industry will continue to suffer huge damage at a time when the railway is taking more than its fair share from taxpayers to keep trains running post COVID. We remain open and willing to engage in national level-talks so that we can secure a pay rise for our people and the long-term future of an industry vital to Britain's economy.”
Steve Montgomery, chair of the Rail Delivery Group, said, "The upcoming rail strikes called by the ASLEF and RMT leadership will not only affect our passengers' daily commute but will also impact those travelling from outside Liverpool and London to come to Eurovision and the FA Cup final, causing disappointment and frustration for those who have planned to attend. It will also further burden our people who have already lost thousands of pounds at a time of financial strain.
“We understand the impact of these strikes on individuals and businesses alike, and we can only apologise for this unnecessary and damaging disruption. While we are doing all we can to keep trains running, unfortunately there will be reduced train services across the network between Friday 12 May and Saturday 3 June, so our advice is to check before you travel. Passengers with Advance tickets can be refunded fee-free if the train that the ticket is booked for is cancelled, delayed or rescheduled.”
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