RMT's Mick Lynch discusses a possible resolution to rail strikes
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RMT general secretary Mick Lynch should call off strike action for the “sake of our wonderful country”, a Conservative MP has claimed. Nick Fletcher, who was elected as Don Valley’s first ever Conservative MP in 2019, also questioned whether Mr Lynch and his colleagues were “motivated by another agenda” besides pay and conditions.
He told Express.co.uk: “The longer this goes on the more I wonder if it is motivated by another agenda and not pay and conditions as they say.”
Mr Fletcher, who is a member of the Northern Research Group and Common Sense Group, added: “For the sake of our wonderful country and all its people who are paying with their wages and taxes – don’t strike.
The 50-year-old concluded: “My message to anyone in the RMT, tell your executive to call off the strike. Take the deal.
“Let’s get back to work and start sorting our country out in the right way.”
Mr Fletcher went on to warn that strike action “almost certainly” leads to negative outcomes in the long-term, including when he saw the “devastation” of the miners’ strike in South Yorkshire during his childhood.
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He suggested “more and more automation” could potentially follow on from continual rail strikes.
The RMT staged two 48-hour walkouts from Tuesday and Friday, causing chaos for commuters across the country.
Members from the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF) also announced it would take strike action on Thursday.
ASLEF chief Mick Whelan said: “We don’t want to go on strike but the companies have pushed us into this place.
“They have not offered our members a penny and these are people who have not had an increase since April 2019.
“That means they expect train drivers at these companies to take a real-terms pay cut – to work just as hard for considerably less – when inflation is running at north of 14 percent.”
Speaking to Sky News, RMT’s Lynch also claimed: “The offers they have put to us have been knocking around since the beginning of this dispute.”
He added: “I’m hoping that when we meet them next week they’ve got some fresh stuff to say, some new ideas to generate a solution.
“They know what we need, the companies know what we need and I’m hopeful that we can work towards something but it really does need the Government to unlock this scenario.”
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Earlier this week, Transport Secretary Mark Harper accused rail unions of inflicting “self harm” by continuing to call for strike action.
Mr Harper, who briefly stood for leadership of the Conservative Party in 2019, also told GB News: “What people want to see is to get this dispute sorted out.”
However, the Government was dealt a major blow recently after trade unions won permission to launch a legal challenge against Rishi Sunak’s strike reforms.
Express.co.uk has approached the RMT for comment.
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