Hucknall and Bulwell rail passengers face more disruption as further strike action announced
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No services ran on the Robin Hood Line – linking Nottingham to Worksop, via Newstead, Bulwell, Hucknall, Kirkby, Sutton, Mansfield, Mansfield Woodhouse, Shirebrook and Langwith-Whaley Thorns – with many other routes reduced to an early service.
Now the RMT union has confirmed its members will be taking further strike action on Wednesday, July 27, after rejecting a ‘paltry’ Network Rail offer.
RMT said ‘Network Rail made an offer of 4 per cent in the first year followed by a possible 4 per cent in the second year, conditional on RMT members accepting all attacks on their terms and conditions’.
It said it is’ ‘yet to receive a pay offer or guarantees over job losses’ from train operating companies, such as East Midlands Railway, which runs services on the Robin Hood Line.
Mick Lynch, RMT general secretary, said: "The offer from Network Rail represents a real-term pay cut for our members and the paltry sum is conditional on RMT members agreeing to drastic changes in their working lives.
“We have made progress on compulsory redundancies, but Network Rail is still seeking to make our members poorer when we have won, in some cases, double what they are offering with other rail operators.
“Strike action is the only course open to us to make both the rail industry and government understand this dispute will continue for as long as it takes, until we get a negotiated settlement.
“The public who will be inconvenienced by our strike action need to understand it is the government’s shackling of Network Rail and the TOCs that means the rail network will be shut down for 24 hours.
“We remain open for further talks.”
Network Rail, which owns and operates Britain’s railway infrastructure, branded the strike action ‘incredibly frustrating’.
Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: “It is incredibly frustrating the RMT has again chosen to disrupt our passengers, and even more so that they haven’t even put what was a fair and affordable two-year pay offer to their members.
“We have been clear we can only fund an increase from our own budgets, and the only way we can afford that is by modernising working practices.
“The RMT’s rejection of our latest offer can only mean they want a pay increase to be funded either by more taxpayer support or higher passenger fares, neither of which we think are fair.
“We urge the RMT to call this action off, get back around the table with us and show some willingness to compromise.”
EMR said the latest strike action ‘will reduce the number of services it is able to operate’.
Although full details are not available yet, an EMR spokesman said: “Service information and timetables will be available very shortly.