Mick Lynch has called for the Government to offer “new money” to rail workers in the same way as NHS staff in order to end ongoing strikes.

Much of the railway network is at a standstill again on Saturday as a result of the long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

Speaking at a picket line at London’s Euston station, RMT union boss Mr Lynch said his members are not prepared to “swallow vast changes to their working conditions” in exchange for a “poor pay rise”.

He contrasted the Government’s position with its treatment of public sector workers, adding: “We need a change in attitude.

“We’ve seen a bit of that in the health service and maybe in the teachers’ unions.

“The difference in that is there are no conditions, it’s new money – but our members are expected to swallow vast changes to their working conditions and they’re not prepared to do that to get a very modest, poor pay rise.”

A previous offer to RMT included a pay rise of more than nine per cent over two years, which the union rejected last month without a membership vote after internal “consultations”.

Mr Lynch continued: “In order to get something moving they’ll have to take away some of the conditions they’ve put on this proposal, and we want some fresh money in the pay proposal, so we’ll see what happens next week.

“They’ve got 18 points that they want us to concede on our members’ terms and conditions, their contract of employment, what they’re paid and how they’re rostered, how they do their work, what they get for sick pay, what they get for holiday pay, all sorts of things that are in a bundle as you’d expect, they want to dilute.”

It comes as members of the RMT at 14 train operators have walked out, crippling services across the country.

Passengers were warned to check before they travel, with trains due to start later and finish much earlier than usual – typically between 7.30am and 6.30pm.

It was expected that nationally between 40 per cent and 50 per cent of train services would run with wide variations across the network, with no services at all in some areas.

Services will still be disrupted on Sunday morning because much of the rolling stock will not be in the right depots.

Football fans and families travelling to weekend leisure events will be among those affected.

RMT members went on strike on Thursday and more stoppages are planned on 30 March and 1 April.

Steve Montgomery, who chairs the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), said: “This latest round of strikes will be a further inconvenience to our customers, who have already experienced months of disruption, and cost our people even more money at a time they can least afford it.

“They will also be asking why the RMT leadership blocked the chance to resolve this dispute by refusing to give their members – many of whom would have benefited from a 13 per cent increase – a say on their own deal.

“Unfortunately, while we will pull out all the stops to keep as many trains running as possible, there will be reduced services across many parts of the rail network on strike days, so our advice is to check before you travel.

“Tickets for 30 March and 1 April can be used the day before, or up to and including Tuesday 4 April.”

The RMT said that more than 20,000 workers will be taking strike action unless there is a negotiated settlement.

2023-03-18T12:27:33Z dg43tfdfdgfd