Mansfield rail passengers face more disruption as three days of strike action announced

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Union bosses have announced further strike action on the railways in an ongoing row over pay and jobs.

No services ran on the Robin Hood Line – linking Nottingham to Worksop, via Newstead, Kirkby, Sutton, Mansfield, Mansfield Woodhouse, Shirebrook and Langwith-Whaley Thorns – with many other routes reduced to an early service.

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Now the RMT union has more than 40,000 workers across Network Rail and 14 train operating companies – including Robin Hood Line operator East Midlands Railway – will take strike action on August 18 and 20.

A very quiet Mansfield Railway Station on a strike day last month, when no services were running.A very quiet Mansfield Railway Station on a strike day last month, when no services were running.
A very quiet Mansfield Railway Station on a strike day last month, when no services were running.

It follows an announcement of a one-day strike on Wednesday, July 27, after rejecting a ‘paltry’ Network Rail offer.

RMT said ‘Network Rail made an offer of 4 per cent in the first year followed by a possible 4 per cent in the second year, conditional on RMT members accepting all attacks on their terms and conditions’.

It said it is’ ‘yet to receive a pay offer or guarantees over job losses’ from train operating companies, such as EMR.

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Mick Lynch, RMT general secretary, said: “The rail industry and the government need to understand this dispute will not simply vanish.

“They need to get serious about providing an offer on pay which helps deal with the cost-of-living crisis, job security for our members and provides good conditions at work.

“Recent proposals from Network Rail fell well short on pay and on safety around maintenance work.

“And the train operating companies have not even made us a pay offer in recent negotiations.

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“Now Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has abandoned his forlorn hopes for the job of Prime Minister, he can now get back to his day job and help sort this mess out.

“We remain open for talks, but we will continue our campaign until we reach a negotiated settlement.”

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Network Rail, which owns and operates Britain’s railway infrastructure, branded the strike action ‘incredibly frustrating’.

Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: “It is incredibly frustrating the RMT has again chosen to disrupt our passengers, and even more so that they haven’t even put what was a fair and affordable two-year pay offer to their members.

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“We have been clear we can only fund an increase from our own budgets, and the only way we can afford that is by modernising working practices.

“The RMT’s rejection of our latest offer can only mean they want a pay increase to be funded either by more taxpayer support or higher passenger fares, neither of which we think are fair.

“We urge the RMT to call this action off, get back around the table with us and show some willingness to compromise.”

EMR said the latest strike action ‘will reduce the number of services it is able to operate’.

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Although full details are not available yet, an EMR spokesman said: “Service information and timetables will be available very shortly.

“Please continue to check the EMR – information in stations and social media for the latest advice and information.”