RMT to hold rail strike across England on eve of FA Cup final
Latest action on 2 June comes between two days of strikes by Aslef and will bring further disruption to football final
The RMT has announced another rail strike on Friday 2 June, the day before the men’s FA Cup final, warning that the government “cannot wish the dispute away”.
About 20,000 RMT members working for the 14 major rail companies in England will strike for 24 hours in the long-running dispute over pay and conditions.
The stoppage falls between two days of strikes already called by the drivers’ union, Aslef, on 31 May and 3 June, compounding the disruption for passengers before the final at Wembley between Manchester City and Manchester United on the Saturday.
The union said that while there had been contact with the train operators’ body, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), since the last strike was called, there had been no new proposals. The package rejected in April had not significantly improved since the offer was rejected in February, a headline increase of 9% over two years but with conditions attached and only a short-term guarantee against job cuts.
Train managers, catering crew and station staff in the RMT will go on strike. It is likely to have less overall impact on trains than the Aslef action, or earlier RMT strikes including Network Rail staff, but will significantly disrupt most services around England and some cross-border services into Scotland and Wales.
The RMT’s general secretary, Mick Lynch, blamed the government for refusing to allow rail negotiators to make an offer it could consider. “Ministers cannot just wish this dispute away. They underestimate the strength of feeling among our members, who have just given us a new six-month strike mandate, continue to support the campaign and the action, and are determined to see this through until we get an acceptable resolution.
“The government now needs to unlock the RDG and allow them to make an offer that can be put to a referendum of our members.”
An RDG spokesperson said it stood by its last offer, which it said was “agreed line by line with their negotiating team, which would have resolved this dispute and given our lowest paid staff a rise of up to 13%”.
They added: “By calling more strike action the RMT leadership have chosen to prolong this dispute without ever giving their members a chance to have a say on their own offer. Instead, they will be subject to yet more lost pay through industrial action, customers will suffer more disruption, and the industry will continue to suffer huge damage.”
The RDG said it was willing to continue talks.
Separately, the TSSA union has called off a planned one-day strike next Wednesday on the Elizabeth line.
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