Rift widens in rail signalling dispute: More unions threaten industrial action
The gulf between the RMT union and Railtrack, the state-owned company which runs the infrastructure, widened as both attended separate sessions with officials at the conciliation service Acas.
However, both sides are likely to decide today to press ahead with a more formal conciliation process.
As the rail industry prepared for what are likely to be tough negotiations, leaders of 1.5 million local authority employees warned of industrial action in protest at an 'insulting' 3.5 per cent pay offer phased in over 19 months.
The annual conference of the moderate Society of Telecom Executives in Bournemouth also threatened strikes if any of their 21,000 members at BT are made compulsorily redundant. The company has warned that it might need to shed up to 6,000 middle managers and has not ruled out compulsory severance.
Both sides in the rail industry dug into what looked like mutually exclusive positions. Railtrack made it clear that there was no possibility of payments for productivity increases already achieved, while the RMT union insisted on 'up-front' money for past improvements.
David Armstrong, human resources director at Railtrack, said the 4,000 signal box staff had already been compensated for higher productivity by being placed in higher grades and by allowances for new technology.
However, Jimmy Knapp, leader of RMT, argued that there had been no consistency in the approach and many of his members had received nothing for operating more sophisticated equipment and dealing with more traffic.
Mr Armstrong wrote to Mr Knapp yesterday expressing keenness to hold substantive negotiations.
More than 700 workers on the pounds 300m Severn crossing project were dismissed yesterday after a 24-hour strike over bonus payments.
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 5 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
Hilary Swank: Million Dollar Baby star says she turns down roles to care for elderly father
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
Eiji Tsuburaya's 114th birthday: Monster movie pioneer honoured in interactive Google Doodle
Bakery sends 'horrific' version of Frozen-themed birthday cake to unsuspecting customer
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: These leading independent prope...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest manufacturer of UPV...
£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a well establis...
£16500 - £22500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continued growth an exce...