Off The Rails's blog

Oppose LNER ticket office cuts!

LNER plans to cut ticket office opening hours at Berwick-upon-Tweed; Darlington; Doncaster; Durham; Edinburgh; Grantham; London King's Cross; Newark North Gate; Newcastle; Peterborough; Retford; Wakefield Westgate, and York train stations.

A letter from unions and campaign groups highlights the...

Track workers ballot for strikes

Track workers employed by Swietelsky, a sub-contractor used by Network Rail, are balloting for strikes to win better pay, after their employer offered an increase of just 1%.

Given current increases in the cost of living, a 1% pay "increase" amounts to a pay cut. RMT has rightly called attention...

Say No to the "Special Voluntary Severance Scheme": Fight the Job Cuts!

We need to resist the Special Voluntary Severance Scheme (SVSS), currently being offered to Network Rail staff bands 1 to 4, because it spells job cuts on a massive scale across the rail industry. Network Rail is offering this one-off severance package until 20 September. It will almost certainly be...

Sunday Strikes on EMR

Senior Conductors at East Midlands Railway delivered a 74% yes vote in the recent re-ballot for strike action with further Sunday strikes announced up until 10 October. They are happy to be joined today, and for the next 7 weeks, by EMR Train Managers taking strike action in a separate dispute over...

Scotrail Disputes Continue But Falter

Scotrail conductors and ticket examiners continue to strike for pay justice every Sunday, with RMT naming dates until September. They also continue to refuse to work overtime or higher-grade duties.

But with the ballot’s six-month legal mandate expiring then, there is no news of a re-ballot and...

Hull Trains workers strike to defend pensions

RMT members at Hull Trains will strike every Sunday from 8-29 August, to stop the closure of the company's final salary pension scheme.

The company, which is owned by First Group, claims the closure is "essential", but RMT rightly points to the fact that the scheme is well-funded and has a...

Rail Gourmet workers strike against bullying

Rail Gourmet workers on the LNER contract have been striking against a culture of management bullying. The strikes follow a 100% vote for action, a clear indication of the strength of feeling and resolve amongst the workforce. There were strong pickets at Edinburgh Waverley, where the workers are...

Sleeper strike going strong

Workers on the Caledonian Sleeper, operated by Serco, are continuing an 11-day strike for improved pay and conditions. Nightly pickets are well supported, and link up with each other via Zoom. We spoke to a striker in Glasgow:




Support for the strike in Glasgow and the rest of Scotland is...

Resist rail job cuts and pay freeze!

The commencement of talks under the aegis of the "Rail Industry Recovery Group" (RIRG), a body convened by the Department for Transport including Network Rail and the Train Operating Committees, has prompted a somewhat varying set of reports.

The Guardian would have us believe that the talks are...

EMR guards to strike throughout the summer

Guards on East Midlands Railway will strike every Sunday from 27 June to 15 August.

Guards in RMT are resisting the imposition of worse contracts, and previously struck in May.

Click here for our previous coverage of the dispute.

Strike on Tyne and Wear!

Workers in both RMT and Unite on the Tyne and Wear Metro will strike from 28-30 June and 1-4 July, with an overtime ban commencing from 5 July.

An RMT statement says: "Last year the cash-rich Stadler outfit secured a ÂŁ300 million contract to build 42 new Metro trains, rebuild the Gosforth depot...

Caledonian Sleeper Strikes Again

Workers on the Caledonian Sleeper will stage an eleven-day strike from 15 June against the company's threat to impose a pay freeze. With the employer already showing scant regard for staff welfare, the refusal to increase pay during these difficult times adds insult to injury. It is little wonder...

Scotrail Dispute Rolls On

The Scotrail dispute is still going strong, with guards not working Sundays or overtime. But management have not even offered a meeting, let alone a retreat from their scrapping of overtime rates.

Scotrail’s social media posts telling passengers we demand a 50% rise in overtime payments are...

Why do so few union members vote? What can we do about it?

Out of every five RMT members, four did not vote in the recent General Secretary election. Why is this, and what can we do about it?

The problem of low turnout is not confined to RMT. The large public-sector union Unison elected a new General Secretary in January with a turnout of just 9.8%, The...

For a real fight on track worker safety

It's great that RMT is developing a strategy for improving track worker safety. RMT has emailed (see below) to tell us to say it is sending a document about improving lineside safety to top safety people at Network Rail, asking for a meeting to discuss it.

Off the Rails thinks it would be great...

Williams/Shapps Review: more of the same, and worse

Reading the Government’s Williams-Shapps Rail Review is like watching someone say they’re too hot in a jumper and deciding to put on an overcoat. The report slams the inefficient ways the rail industry is organised, especially the ridiculous “delay attribution” industry that results from the...

RMT National President: Let's Talk About the Left Platform

With RMT due to spend the whole year embroiled in national elections, Off The Rails is please to see this move towards discussion of platforms and candidates - a break from the habit of candidates declaring themselves and expecting others to fall in line.

A group of left-wing activists in the...

Continuing the EMT strike!

After a 20 month delay, due to Covid and a change of franchisee, guards on East Midlands Railway will resume their fight against unfair starter contracts and T&C busting rostering with 3 strikes on consecutive Sundays starting on May 16th, the first day of the new timetable.

Reps have paid close...

Stitch up over Merseyrail drivers' pay?

On 13 April the ASLEF Executive Committee met to hear reports from the Merseyrail Drivers' Company Council and the District 3 Full Time Officer Andy Hourigan.

Merseyrail's pay 'offer' to drivers for 2021 was 0% on pay, and a stipulation that any changes to Terms and Conditions negotiated needed...

Anti-Protest Law is Bad News for Rail Workers

The Conservative Government is pushing through a new law, 'The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill', that will restrict our right to protest effectively. It will empower the police to stop 'disruptive' protests, ie. ones that have an impact and get attention. The government is thinking of...

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