12,000 rail maintenance staff to strike next weekend over harmonisation
RMT: July 18 2008
SOME 12,000 Network Rail maintenance workers in Britain’s biggest rail union are to strike again next weekend after talks on the long-running dispute over harmonisation of terms and conditions failed to make sufficient progress.
RMT members will not book on for shifts that commence between midday on Saturday July 26 and 17:59 on Sunday July 27. Members will also not undertake any overtime or ‘on-call’ work between 06:00 on Saturday July 26 and 06:00 on Monday July 28.
Weekend maintenance work was brought to a virtual standstill during the first stoppage in the dispute, over the weekend June 14 and 15.
“We had hoped that fresh talks after our first strike would make some progress, but it is clear that the company is still trying to use what should be talks about harmonisation as a cost-cutting attack on jobs and conditions,” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said today.
“Our reps met today and to say they are angry at the lack of progress would be an understatement, and the RMT executive has agreed to call the second weekend’s stoppage our reps have demanded.
“Our first strike was a solid demonstration by our members that they expect talks about harmonisation to produce proposals about harmonisation, not ever-longer lists of the conditions the company wants to destroy.
“We remain available for talks, but if Network Rail wants to settle this dispute it should get around the table and negotiate a harmonisation package that is acceptable to our members,” Bob Crow said.