RMT union boss denies ministers urged it to cap pay the limited offer
The leader of Network Rail has denied that the government has continued to limit pay rises for its workers, as it has failed to prevent the biggest train strikes in 30 years.
Efforts to avert the strikes failed through Monday afternoon talks and the RMT accused the government of blocking the treaty.
The union believes that the government has pressured Network Rail not to exceed a 3% pay rise because of the precedent that could set this and the risk of inflation.
The RMT is seeking a 7% pay rise and has rejected a 2% offer with another 1% tied for job cuts.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Tuesday that calls for the government to help resolve the strikes by entering into negotiations were a “stunt”.
Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said the government had no hand in the company’s pay offer.
When asked four times on BBC Radio 4’s Today’s program whether Shapps or anyone else in government was motivated to stick to 3%, Haines repeatedly denied it.
“No, we have not been told, because the government recognizes that there is so much productivity in the industry that we can go further than that for the right market. So 3% would be a constraint if we could not achieve any productivity, ”he said.
Network Rail is theoretically able to offer a higher wage arrangement by suffocating its entire budget, but in practice the RMT believes that it is moving towards government.
Mick Lynch, secretary general of the RMT, said on Monday that Network Rail’s refusal to go above 3% was coming from the Shapps Department, saying “this Tory government’s hand is dead throughout the dispute”.
Lynch stuck to his position on Tuesday, telling Today: “We believe the companies can offer a [better deal] and are about to do it but I think the government is blocking them from doing it. ideological reason.