Rail union to ballot on peace plan: RMT executive halts one-day strikes over job security until result of vote known
Leaders of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union have decided to suspend industrial action until the ballot result is known on 14 May. If the 67,000 members turn down the proposals, a further series of 24-hour strikes is likely. BR is to embark on a propaganda campaign in an attempt to ensure backing for its proposals.
The decision came yesterday after an acrimonious meeting of the union's executive on Wednesday found itself in disarray over management's proposals. While the leadership rejected BR's assurances over job security, the executive could not secure the two-thirds majority required to order a day-long stoppage next week.
Jimmy Knapp, general secretary of the RMT, said the one-page peace formula did not meet the union's objectives. He said: 'The board's position has shifted since the dispute started but the assurances we are seeking on compulsory redundancy and on the use of contractors have still not been made with the conviction we want.'
The management's 'last position' according to both British Rail and John MacGregor, Secretary of State for Transport, was contained in the document.
In an attempt to avert a third 24-hour strike, BR confirmed that it did not foresee the need for compulsory redundancies over the next couple of years. The railways board also insisted that there were no plans for a 'major extension' to the use of contractors for track maintenance over the next couple of years.
Mr Knapp said the ballot, which will be run by the Electoral Reform Society, would put an end to the uncertainty. In the meantime, no further strikes would be called. He said he believed the public would appreciate the way the union was handling the dispute and said: 'The voice of our members will tell us the way forward.'
Paul Watkinson, BR's personnel director, accused the leadership of the union of 'abdicating responsibility'. It meant that great uncertainty still hung over the railway industry.
'They are rejecting a perfectly reasonable position and they seem to be asking their members to make up their minds before the ballot is held by recommending rejection.' Mr Watkinson said the union was putting its members' jobs at risk.
- 2 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
- 3 Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
- 4 Mafia's wall of silence broken: Victim of Cosa Nostra's extortion rackets in its Corleone heartland co-operates with authorities for the first time ever
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent answer to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: This post arises as a result of the need to...
£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...