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UK railway workers union announces new strikes over pay dispute

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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - Passengers waiting at King's Cross railway station in central London on the third of the three days rail strike action in October by members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) over pay and work conditions in London, United Kingdom on October 08, 2022. (Dinendra Haria - Anadolu Agency)
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Oct 19, 2022 - 11:04 AM

LONDON (AA) – The UK’s biggest transport sector union on Wednesday announced new strikes in November due to an ongoing dispute over pay.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) said the industrial action will be held on Nov. 3, 5, and 7 amid the cost of living crisis fueled by hyperinflation in the country.

The annual inflation was announced as 10.1% by the Office for National Statistics on Wednesday.

The negotiations over a pay rise have been underway between the RMT and the rail operator Network Rail for some months but a deal is still to be reached after the union turned down an 8% rise.

The Network Rail “reneged on their promises of an improved pay offer and sought to impose job cuts, more unsocial hours and detrimental changes to rosters,” according to a statement by the RMT.

“On the one hand they were telling our negotiators that they were prepared to do a deal, while planning to torpedo negotiations by imposing unacceptable changes to our members’ terms and conditions,” RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said.

“Our members are livid with these duplicitous tactics, and they will now respond in kind with sustained strike action.”

The Network Rail said in response that a two-year 8% deal with discounted travel and an extended job guarantee to January 2025 was on the table.

“Unfortunately, the leadership of the RMT seem intent on more damaging strikes rather than giving their members a vote on our offer,” the company said.

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