Christmas rail strikes: RMT reject pay offer and announce more strikes starting from Christmas Eve

The union said that this strike coincides with the wind down of passenger services and the commencement of engineering works

The Rail National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) has announced further strike action which will see workers walk out from Christmas Eve. The new dates come following the union putting a new offer from Network Rail to members in an electronic referendum.

They have recommended their members reject the offer before the deadline of Monday December 12 at noon. The union will now strike from Christmas Eve through to December 27.

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These fresh dates follow last week’s announcement that RMT members will take industrial action on December 13,14, 16 and 17. The dates for strike action in January will also go ahead.

In an announcement yesterday, the union said that there had been no improved offer from the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) who still await a mandate from the government. As a result, all scheduled strike action will go ahead and the union awaits the outcome of a planned meeting with the RDG  on Tuesday (December 6).

The offer from the RDG included a pay increase of up to eight per cent as well as “no compulsory redundancies until April 1, 2024”.

A spokesperson for the RDG said: "We urge the RMT leadership to put this offer to its membership and remove the threat of a month of industrial action over Christmas that will upset the travel plans of millions and cause real hardship for businesses which depend on Christmas custom. Instead, we urge the RMT to move forward together with us so we can give our people a pay rise and deliver an improved railway with a sustainable, long-term future for those who work on it.”

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said that it was unfortunate that that union had been compelled to take this action due to the continuing intransigence of the employers.

“We remain available for talks in order to resolve these issues but we will not bow to pressure from the employers and the government to the detriment of our members,” he said.

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