Train strikes Sheffield November 2022: RMT suspends rail strikes

RMT announced a new set of train strike dates that will take place in early November. However, they have since been suspended, meaning trains will run as normal.
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The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) union bosses have confirmed new strike dates that are set to occur in November in the UK - including Sheffield. However, RMT have recently announced that the strikes will now not take place.

The proposed strikes were in response to unsuccessful talks between RMT and Network Rail, after RMT claims Network Rail enacted a “u-turn” on their decision to give rail workers an adequate pay rise. Additionally, RMT also claims that Network Rail are seeking to impose unsociable working hours and job cuts upon rail staff.

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However, Network Rail claim they have offered an improved deal to rail workers, with a pay rise of 8% over two years (inflation in the UK has recently risen by 10.1%). In response to RMT, Network Rail has accused the union of forcing “damaging strikes”.

Additionally, they have also deemed RMT’s demands to be unrealistic, citing a budget deficit and a lesser amount of annual customers using trains. As a result, Network Rail claim they do not have the money necessary to meet RMT’s demands.

After talks with Network Rail, RMT chose to suspend their strikes in November. On Twitter, RMT said that they will be “will now enter into a period of intensive negotiations with Network Rail and the train operating companies.”

When were the November rail strikes due to take place?

RMT union members were set be on strike on November 3, 5 and 7. However, trains on these days will now run as normal.

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In a press release on RMT’s website, RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “The dishonesty of Network Rail bosses has reached a new low in this national rail dispute.

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

Conversely, Tim Shoveller, Network Rail’s chief negotiator, said: “A two-year 8% deal, with discounted travel and a new extended job guarantee to January 2025, is on the table ready to be put to our staff.

“Unfortunately, the leadership of the RMT seem intent on more damaging strikes rather than giving their members a vote on our offer. Me and my team remain available for serious talks and continue to negotiate in good faith.

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“Our sector has a £2 billion hole in its budget with many fewer passengers using our services. That reality is not going to change anytime soon and a fair and affordable and improved deal is on the table, ready to be implemented if our people were only offered the opportunity.”

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