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UK's rail union to stage three days of strikes next month

Picture shows general secretary of the British railway workers union RMT, Mick Lynch (2nd R) on a picket line during a strike.

British railway workers union RMT set out plans on Tuesday for three days of strikes in early November, saying the action was in response to employer Network Rail trying to "impose" changes to working practices.

The union, which has more than 83,000 members from the transport industry, said walkouts were planned for Nov. 3, 5, and 7.

In response, company chief negotiator Tim Shoveller said its pay deal was on the table, adding that his team were available for "serious talks."

"A two-year 8% deal, with discounted travel and a new extended job guarantee to January 2025, is on the table ready to be put to our staff .... Unfortunately, the leadership of the RMT seem intent on more damaging strikes."

The union said that Network Rail "reneged on their promises of an improved pay offer and sought to impose job cuts, more unsocial hours and detrimental changes to rosters."

"On the one hand they (Network Rail) were telling our negotiators that they were prepared to do a deal while planning to torpedo negotiations by imposing unacceptable changes to our members terms and conditions," RMT head Mick Lynch said in the statement.

There has been growing discontent among laborers across sectors this year, as a cost-of-living crisis has pushed workers to step out and demand pay hikes that are on par with inflation, which at one point ran in double digits.

Railway strikes over the summer saw tens of thousands of workers walk out in the country's biggest strike in 30 years. RMT said that in separate disputes on London Underground and Overground networks, its members will take strike action on Nov. 3.

(Source: Reuters)

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