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RMT fight on

17 November 2022

Unity is Strength. RMT Cardiff show their banner on one the October strike days. Photo Workers.

RMT has announced that its rail members in Network Rail and 14 train operating companies have voted overwhelmingly to continue industrial action in support of the union's efforts to defend living standards, jobs and working conditions.

Most of those members, hailed as “heroes” for working during the coronavirus pandemic, have not seen any pay increase for three or more years, while inflation, measured by RPI. has now risen to 14.2 per cent.

RMT was forced to run new industrial action ballots by anti-trade union laws that require members to be balloted every 6 months. That has not deterred their membership, who voted strongly to continue the action.


The average voting turnout across the rail industry was over 70 per cent, with nearly 92 per cent voting “yes” to further strikes. Mick Lynch, RMT general secretary hailed this as a massive endorsement of the union’s strategy to win workplace justice through negotiation where possible and industrial action if necessary.

He said, “This union is determined to continue with this campaign until the employers understand that they need to respond to our members' aspirations on job security, pay and working conditions.”

• Train drivers, members of Aslef, are also in dispute over pay; having no increase since 2019. They have settled deals at 14 companies and are consulting on offers at two others, but will continue with strike action on 26 November at 12 companies, including the main long distance passenger operators in England – Avanti West Coast, LNER, Cross Country, East Midlands Railway and Great Western Railway.

And Aslef members at LNER are also withdrawing non-contractual overtime working from the following day in response to the company riding roughshod over working agreements. The union says that the company is “…flying on overtime and favours to run a full service rather than hiring enough drivers.”