RMT to ballot Northern Rail members over possible strike
Rail Union RMT confirmed today (4 January 2017) that it will be balloting its members on Arriva Rail North for strike action and action short of a strike over aÂ pay dispute between its members and the company.
The ballot will open on 10 January and conclude on 25 January.
If RMT members vote to strike, services operated by Northern through Preston, Blackpool and Wigan may be affected by the action.
The dispute is over a pay offer that does not match the benchmarks for pay deals that RMT has set elsewhere in the industry, say the union.
Mick Cash RMT General Secretary said:“The nonsense of a privatised railway has shown its colours yet again as new Arriva Rail North franchisee Deutsche Bahn – less than a year after taking over the contract – offer our members a below the rate for the job pay deal.
“Industrial relations with the firm were already at a low and the latest pay offer shows continued contempt for the workers who run the service and make the company’s profits. Our members deserve to paid properly for the work that they do.
“The union remains available for talks.”
A spokesman for Northern said: “Northern offered over 5,000 employees a guaranteed, above inflation pay rise over the next three or four years. The offer is a two percent increase in year one, followed by Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 0.1% in each of the following two or three years.
“We are disappointed to have now been notified by RMT that it intends to ballot its members following the negotiations in which the pay increase was offered.”
The spokesman added: “We firmly believe the offer made during negotiations was good for our employees, providing wage increases and stability against a backdrop of wider financial uncertainty. We remain committed to investing in our people and working towards a satisfactory conclusion.”