Next week's rail strikes set to go ahead as RMT rejects latest offer from train companies

Rail passengers face more strike misery this Christmas after talks to try to avert industrial action in the days leading up to the festive break failed to resolve the issues.
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The RMT union has rejected an offer from the group representing train companies which sought to stop strikes in the run-up to Christmas.

As a result, the latest round of strikes by RMT members at Network Rail and 14 train firms is due to begin in eight days as planned.

As it stands, industrial action is currently due to take place on December 13,14, 16 and 17 and on January 3, 4, 6 and 7.

A very quiet Mansfield Railway Station on a strike day in June, when no services were running.A very quiet Mansfield Railway Station on a strike day in June, when no services were running.
A very quiet Mansfield Railway Station on a strike day in June, when no services were running.

East Midlands Railway has yet to confirm how services will be affected for the upcoming strike days.

The Rail Delivery Group said its offer included a pay increase for staff of up to 8 per cent over two years.

But the RMT said it would lead to huge job losses.

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The RDG told the BBC it had made a ‘fair and affordable’ offer and included a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies until April 2024.

In exchange, it was proposing a number of changes to current working practices, including repurposing or closing ticket offices, introducing new multi-skilled roles, and Sunday working where it is not in place already.

It also called on the union to avoid ‘upsetting the travel plans of millions over Christmas’.

However, Mick Lynch, RMT general secretary said the proposals would not be acceptable to its members.

He told the BBC: “We have rejected this offer as it does not meet any of our criteria for securing a settlement on long-term job security, a decent pay rise and protecting working conditions.”

Mr Lynch said the proposal would not only mean “the loss of thousands of jobs”, but also the use of “unsafe practices” like driver-only-operated trains.

He said: “It will leave our railways chronically understaffed.”