RAIL CHAOS UPDATE: Network Rail respond to ‘deplorable’ bank holiday strike

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Network Rail has branded the proposed May Bank Holiday strike as ‘deplorable’.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union announced this morning (Friday May 15) they will be walking out from 5pm on Monday May 25 due to a dispute with the rail service provider over pay.

The workers, including signallers and maintenance staff, will also ban overtime for 48 hours on the Bank Holiday Monday and Tuesday and an official warned services will be at a ‘standstill’ throughout both days.

The union refused the latest Network Rail pay proposals stating they fell “well short” of what they believed was required to maintain the living standards, job security and working conditions for nearly 16,000 staff.

RMT members rejected a four-year deal worth £500 this year and three years of increases matching RPI inflation as well as a no-compulsory-redundancy commitment to December 2016.

However, in response to this mornings announcement Mark Carne, Network Rail chief executive, said: “This strike is deliberately timed to cause maximum disruption to families trying to enjoy the half-term break and millions more returning to work after the bank holiday. I find it deplorable that the RMT can hold the travelling public to ransom in this way.

“We are pleased that discussions with the RMT are set to resume next week. The public knows only too well that our railway must improve. We want to work with the unions so that we can reward our staff through improved productivity.”

“The RMT say we can afford more than what’s on offer. What they don’t say is that Network Rail is a public service body and that all profits are reinvested in building a bigger, better, more reliable railway. Any pay increase comes from the pockets of taxpayers and fare paying passengers.”

Related stories Commuter chaos looming: Strike to bring rail service to ‘standstill’

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