In a response to an ongoing pay dispute, engineers, clerical staff, and production workers at a railway supply company called Unipart Rail are launching a four-day strike starting from Tuesday. This move is orchestrated by the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT), which has asserted that its members, stationed in Crewe, are deeply dissatisfied with the company’s refusal to enhance a 4.75% pay proposal that the union has already rejected.
Mick Lynch, the general secretary of RMT, has criticized the management of Unipart Rail for their unyielding stance, asserting that their behavior displays a complete disregard for their workforce. Despite efforts to engage in negotiations and seek a resolution, the company canceled a final meeting, indicating an unwillingness to find common ground. Lynch reiterated RMT’s determination to secure a negotiated settlement regarding pay and working conditions, even if it necessitates further strike actions.
A spokesperson from Unipart Rail expressed disappointment over the potential industrial action, stating that while approximately half of the staff in Crewe are not part of the union and did not take part in the strike ballot, the company has consistently placed emphasis on employee engagement. Last year, significant pay raises, ranging from 7% to 25%, were granted to colleagues at Crewe. The spokesperson noted that the current pay offer of 4.75% takes into account various factors, including affordability due to ongoing financial pressures in the rail sector.
The company remains committed to supporting its employees through third-party advisers who offer guidance on financial management, health, and mental well-being. However, the spokesperson underscored that any pay claims must be sustainable and aligned with customer demand to prevent downsizing and maintain the company’s financial stability.