RMT invited to formal talks on July 1 to discuss working practices
Network Rail (NR) has asked the biggest rail workers’ union to attend formal consultation talks next month on introducing “modern working practices”.
A letter was handed to Mick Lynch, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT), at the end of talks on Monday evening.
Meetings were held throughout the day but failed to avert three days of strikes by RMT members which crippled train services on Tuesday and will be repeated on Thursday and Saturday.
The letter, written by Paul Rutter of NR, says: “We have always made clear to you that we needed to make material progress in these discussions and that we needed to implement meaningful changes to working practices by April 2023.
“I am still hopeful that we can agree a way forward. We cannot, however, delay any longer and with that in mind we intend to consult formally with you on the implementation of changes to a number of working practices which we believe can be changed within the existing agreements and T&Cs (terms and conditions) under which our Maintenance and Works Delivery staff are employed.
“We will also press ahead with consultation on the implementation of certain technologies in order to make the railway a safer and more efficient workplace.
“Whilst we do not believe that we need the agreement from our trade unions to make these changes, we would much prefer to implement them with your agreement and co-operation.”