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Union boss Mick Lynch privately admits RMT ballot on pay deal which could have ended strikes was ‘flawed’, senior sources claim

  • Ministers and industry bosses fear the union is waging a ‘political campaign’
  • The RMT rejected the claims about the referendum, which was held in December

RMT boss Mick Lynch privately admitted that a referendum his union held on a pay deal which could have ended strikes was flawed, it was claimed yesterday.

Senior sources said Mr Lynch admitted in a meeting with industry leaders and the rail minister that his members did not have enough time to understand the complex offer. RMT workers were given six days, when around two weeks was ideally needed to explain the proposal.

The RMT last night rejected the claims about the referendum, which was held by the union in December just before Christmas.

More than a third voted in favour of the deal despite the RMT urging its members not to and failing to explain it properly.

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Ministers and industry bosses fear the union is simply waging a ‘political campaign’ to try and bring down the Tory government and engineer a class war.

Sources said Mr Lynch (centre) admitted in a meeting with industry leaders and the rail minister that his members did not have enough time to understand the complex offer

Sources said Mr Lynch (centre) admitted in a meeting with industry leaders and the rail minister that his members did not have enough time to understand the complex offer

Train drivers¿ union Aslef announced new strikes on the London Underground, which will cripple the capital¿s transport network, on March 15

Train drivers’ union Aslef announced new strikes on the London Underground, which will cripple the capital’s transport network, on March 15

This month they rejected a new offer of 9 per cent over two years, and said there will be no deal unless proposed reforms in exchange for the pay increase are dropped.

This is despite saying in negotiations since last summer that they’d accept reforms in return for a pay rise.

New details of the latest Network Rail offer yesterday emerged, which show it was worth up to 20 per cent for the lowest paid workers.

It came as train drivers’ union Aslef announced new strikes on the London Underground, which will cripple the capital’s transport network, on March 15. It is the day before the RMT’s next strike on March 16.

There are fears Aslef is plotting with Mr Lynch to coordinate further mainline rail walkouts to coincide with the RMT’s other strikes on March 18, 30 and April 1.

A senior rail source present at the pre-Christmas meeting said: ‘If you’d had two weeks to share and consult on the offer beforehand, and then had a week’s worth of referendum, then it would have been OK.

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‘But it was the fact that you literally had six days from the offer going out until the end of the referendum.

‘And in a meeting before Christmas with the rail minister, he [Mr Lynch] acknowledged that.

‘He acknowledged that for a complex deal it wasn’t enough time. And his defence was that because they had strike action coming up they didn’t have any more time to give.’

There are fears Aslef is plotting with Mr Lynch to coordinate further mainline rail walkouts to coincide with the RMT¿s other strikes

There are fears Aslef is plotting with Mr Lynch to coordinate further mainline rail walkouts to coincide with the RMT’s other strikes

RMT boss Mick Lynch privately admitted that a referendum his union held on a pay deal which could have ended strikes was flawed, it was claimed yesterday

RMT boss Mick Lynch privately admitted that a referendum his union held on a pay deal which could have ended strikes was flawed, it was claimed yesterday

Talks are now said to have hit a ‘roadblock’, with the RMT refusing to put an improved offer to its members in another vote.

Network Rail’s chief negotiator, Tim Shoveller, said: ‘The RMT has really annoyed their members, our staff, by their refusal to put the revised offer that we made in January to a referendum. It’s a sham,’

The union rejected a 9 per cent pay offer over two years, with 5 per cent paid for 2022 and 4 per cent for 2023. For the lowest paid it was worth 20 per cent if they also shifted onto a new type of contract.

An RMT spokesperson said: ‘We do not recognise the details of this exchange or the quoted figures on pay.

‘Network Rail’s offer is contingent on members accepting a raft of unacceptable and unsafe changes under so-called modernising maintenance.

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‘This will consist of a 50 per cent reduction in scheduled maintenance tasks, more unsocial hours and hundreds of job losses which our members rejected in an extensive consultation exercise.’

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