RMT leader says industry is facing ‘fight of our lifetime’

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch has said that the demands of employers are being ’ramped up’, rather than being eased after the recent three days of national strikes.

He said it was normal for an employer to be a little more reasonable in talks following an industrial stoppage, but not on this occasion.

He told his union’s AGM in Birmingham that the dispute was ‘the fight of our lifetime’, and accused Network Rail and the train operators of ‘doing the government’s rotten business and trying to cut thousands of jobs on the railways’.

He continued: ‘They are trying to cut thousands of jobs and they have no scruples in cutting back on safety regimes in order to do so. They are seeking to rip up working practices and conditions, agreements that protect our members and in doing so they will drive up unsocial hours, work fatigue and occupational ill health. And they are seeking to make our members poor with below inflation pay offers which do not take into account the cost-of-living crisis.

‘We went to the train operators, and they put on the table that virtually every rail worker would be re-contracted on a new contract of employment and a new set of terms and conditions. And they are going to bring back the Driver Only Operated disputes in every single train operating company. They have told me that face to face. They said it was their mandate from DfT. Since that strike action, which was fantastic, they have not diluted their stance. At Network Rail they are ramping up their demands.

‘So, this is as serious as it gets. It is the fight of our lifetime and of our generation.’

Railnews has invited Network Rail, the train operators and the Department for Transport to comment.

source= http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/2022/07/05-rmt-leader-says-industry-is.html