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The RMT, the largest rail union in the UK, has unanimously voted to support a resolution for their prolonged and contentious conflict with 14 train companies.
A dispute regarding wages, employment, and work schedules led to a succession of country-wide strikes, beginning in June 2022.
During an online vote that lasted three weeks, the majority of votes (approximately 90%) were in favor with a turnout of approximately 80%. This means that out of 10 eligible RMT members, seven voted to accept.
The agreement includes a retroactive salary increase of at least 5 percent or £1,750 for 2022, whichever is greater. This will result in a 13 percent increase in wages for lower-paid employees. Rail companies are anticipated to pay the retroactive increase before Christmas.
In the upcoming year, discussions will take place regarding additional compensation and changes to work schedules.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has contracted 14 train operators to run services. These operators had previously stated that they would only consider a pay increase if there was an increase in productivity.
The general secretary of RMT, Mick Lynch, stated that our members have overwhelmingly accepted an unconditional pay offer and will not face any mandatory job cuts until the end of 2024.
I would like to commend them for their unwavering determination throughout this extended labor dispute.
“We will continue to engage in negotiations with the train operators regarding the changes they desire. It is our commitment to always stand up for our members’ rights and benefits, both presently and in the future.”
This demonstration proves that continuous striking and solidarity produce positive outcomes, and our members should take pride in the part they have played in achieving this agreement.
The Secretary of Transportation, Mark Harper, expressed his approval for the recent development that will benefit passengers and move closer to resolving labor conflicts in the railway industry. This will result in a pay increase for workers before the holiday season and pave the way for much-needed reforms.
A representative from the Rail Delivery Group stated: “The positive decision by RMT members will allow for a salary increase for our employees and indicates that equitable contracts have been achieved with three of the four unions involved in the recent labor disagreement.”
The initial nationwide railway protests, which started on June 21, 2022, have been ongoing sporadically ever since the 1980s.
In the previous month, RMT members casted their votes in a ratio of 90:10 to support further industrial action, with a turnout of 64 percent.
However, as members had likely suffered significant financial losses due to a string of strikes, the union leaders were looking for a satisfactory agreement.
The task was made easier when train operators withdrew plans for closing the vast majority of ticket offices at stations in England. The government had ordered the rail firms to produce closure plans, but then told them to ditch the proposals.
The peace agreement between RMT and Aslef coincides with a nine-day period of industrial action by train drivers, which includes an overtime ban and one-day strikes in different regions.