Rail strikes in Sussex: Walkouts to go ahead as union rejects offers

Rail strikes affecting services across Sussex will go ahead this week as the latest offers have been rejected, the RMT union has confirmed.

Thousands of workers are due to participate in walkouts on Tuesday June 21, Thursday June 23 and Saturday June 25 due to a dispute over pay and potential job cuts.

Staff at Network Rail and operators including Southeastern are due to strike, but while Govia Thameslink Railway, which operates Southern and Thameslink trains, is not amongst them, its services will still be severely disrupted this week.

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Discussions with Network Rail and the Train Operators have continued today (Monday June 20), and the RMT said train operators have now made an offer, but there is no further offer from Network Rail following the one rejected last Friday.

The RMT union announces strike action will go ahead this week

The RMT said its National Executive Committee found both sets of proposals ‘to be unacceptable’ and has now confirmed that the strike action scheduled this week will go ahead.

The union has blamed the strike action on the Conservative government for slashing funding and suggested it had ‘now actively prevented a settlement to this dispute’.

A spokesman for the RMT said: “The rail companies have now proposed pay rates that are massively under the relevant rates of inflation, coming on top of the pay freezes of the past few years. At the behest of the Government, companies are also seeking to implement thousands of job cuts and have failed to give any guarantee against compulsory redundancies.”

Last week Steve Montgomery, Chair of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Taxpayers have provided the equivalent of about £600 per household since covid and passenger numbers are still only at around 75% of pre pandemic levels. We need to bring rail up to date so that we attract more people back and take no more than our fair share from the public purse.

“We ask the RMT’s leadership to call off these damaging strikes and continue talks to reach a deal that is fair to staff and taxpayers, and which secures a bright, long-term future of our railways.”