Rail strikes in the run up to Christmas “come gift wrapped from Rishi Sunak” says TSSA as the government blocks any improvements to offers for workers in train operating companies.
This was the bombshell reality following discussions with the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) on Wednesday evening.
Despite some hope earlier in the week that progress and movement could be made in an attempt to resolve the dispute, the government yesterday blocked efforts by employers to table an improved offer.
“This is devastating news for rail workers, passengers and the wider economy as it exposes the damage the government is willing to do to working people” said TSSA Interim General Secretary, Frank Ward.
“Rail workers and the industry have been put in an impossible position by the Tory government. Christmas chaos and disruption across our railways are now unfortunately guaranteed, and come gift wrapped from Rishi Sunak and his anti-worker Conservative government’s agenda.
“We are truly sorry for the disruption that this action will cause to passengers and businesses. We have tried everything to achieve a resolution, but we will not sell our members’ jobs for a cheap deal that slashes their pay and fails to provide the job security being given to colleagues in the rail industry.”
TSSA members in train operating companies are taking a variety of strike action and action short of strike in December, with most companies being out on strike on Saturday 17 December. Full details here.
TSSA rejected an offer from the RDG on Sunday which failed to make any provision for Controllers or management grades. The pay on offer was less than the offer made for employees at Network Rail, and because of the lack of underpinning or weighting towards those on lower salaries it was worth far less to lower paid workers who are feeling the cost-of-living crisis most acutely. Job security offered by the RDG was ten months shorter than the offer from network Rail and the whole offer came with strings attached which try to tie unions and workers into mass closures of ticket offices and undefined changes to job and conditions.
TSSA is putting an offer from Network Rail to a referendum of members and recommending acceptance, closing Thursday 15 December. The union has called off strike action and re-ballots in Network Rail while the offer is out for members to consider.