Network Rail workers vote overwhelmingly to accept pay offer as strikes continue

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Network Rail said the RMT’s continuing strike action was “sabotaging the railway” and urged the union to follow the TSSA’s acceptance of the deal.

Andrew Haines, the chief executive of Network Rail, said: “TSSA and Unite members have both voted to resoundingly accept the very same deal that the RMT continues to reject.

“We know there is a sizeable number of RMT members who want this deal, and we can see that strike action is beginning to break down. Thousands of colleagues have refused to strike this week, instead coming into work to keep services running and Britain moving. It is time the RMT executive put their members’ interests first and end this dispute.”

Members of the ASLEF train drivers’ union last week voted overwhelmingly to continue strike action in a long-running dispute over pay at 12 train companies.

But TSSA, which has around 2,500 members at Network Rail in jobs such as controllers, said its settlement showed what could be achieved through a combination of strikes and negotiations.

Luke Chester, the TSSA organizing director, said: “It’s great news and a great deal for our members in Network Rail. It just shows what can be done through negotiations when there’s a serious offer on the table.

“Let me be clear, though – this has only come about because our members stood together, taking strike action to get a fair settlement when the company failed to listen.

“The result is a fair pay settlement amounting to at least a nine per cent increase for this year and next – at least 11 per cent for those on lower salaries – plus job security and the nailing down of our terms and conditions.”

TSSA, which had already suspended strike action on Network Rail, remains in dispute with train operators over pay, jobs and conditions. It will continue strikes at Avanti West Coast this week, coinciding with the RMT’s action. Its members will also strike on Saturday at East Midlands Railway and TransPennine Express.

Following RMT strikes on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday this week, an overtime ban across 14 train operating companies will affect services from Dec 18 to Jan 2, before more strikes on Jan 3-4 and 6-7.

A strike at Network Rail from 6pm on Dec 24 to the morning of Dec 27 will halt passenger services earlier on Christmas Eve, but will mainly affect engineering works.

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