Rail workers secure 7% pay deal

Aaron Morby 14 years ago
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The long-running dispute between rail union RMT and Network Rail over working practice and pay for thousands of rail maintenance workers is set to to resolved.

Under an offer set out by Network Rail and recommended by RMT, maintenance workers are in line for an inflation-busting 7% pay rise between now and December 2011.

The maintenance workers will also receive a £2,000 lump sum by Christmas and the deal ruled out any compulsory redundancies.

The dispute arose last year over plans to axe 1,500 maintenance jobs and change rosters to allow more work in the evenings and at weekends.

Since the plan was first revealed most of the job cuts have been achieved through natural wastage and voluntary redundancies.

Network Rail needs to make 21% efficiency savings over the next five year financial control period 2009-2014. This is on top of 31% agreed for the previous five year period.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “A positive vote will allow us to make the changes needed to secure the future of all our people in the new maintenance organisation.”

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “At a time when the doom and gloom merchants are telling working people that they must accept pay freezes, job cuts and a grim Christmas and New Year, our Network Rail maintenance members have shown that if you stand together in a strong trade union you can win.

Meanwhile, rail union leaders have called for an official investigation into maintenance on London Underground after days of disruption and delays caused by checks on Tube trains last week.

Services were hit for the third successive day when a number of trains were withdrawn after engineers discovered brackets, which seemed to be cracked during a maintenance inspection earlier this week.

London Underground said 17 trains were out of service for inspection or repair and accused RMT of “scaremongering”.

The union said that it would be filing a report to the Office of Rail Regulation claiming that LU was “cutting corners” on Tube maintenance and calling for an investigation.

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