When there are train strikes in March 2023 and latest pay offer in dispute explained
The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) has organised four more days of train strikes in March and April in the long-running dispute with rail operators over pay, jobs and working conditions.
However, it has also suspended a planned walkout of Network Rail staff after progress in talks and a new pay offer.
Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming strikes, and the latest on the disputes.
When are the next rail strikes?
Rail workers represented by the RMT at 14 major companies will walk out on the following dates:
The following rail operators will be affected by the strikes:
During previous RMT action most operators ran either no trains at all or a severely reduced service, with trains starting later and finishing earlier than usual.
You can find the latest advice on strike disruption from National Rail here, and use National Rail’s journey planner here.
The RMT said the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents the 14 operators, invited it for discussions to settle the dispute, but on the condition that planned strike action on 16 and 18 March was suspended.
The union said action would go ahead as planned, but it would be “available for discussions and will attend any meetings on creating a resolution to the dispute through an improved offer”.
Last month the union rejected an offer from the RDG, saying it “did not meet the needs of members on pay, job security or working conditions”.
Mick Lynch, RMT general secretary, said: “Rail employers are not being given a fresh mandate by the government to offer our members a new deal on pay, conditions and job security.
“Therefore, our members will now take sustained and targeted industrial action over the next few months.
“The Government can settle this dispute easily by unshackling the rail companies. However, its stubborn refusal to do so will now mean more strike action across the railway network and a very disruptive overtime ban.
“Ministers cannot continue to sit on their hands hoping this dispute will go away as our members are fully prepared to fight tooth and nail for a negotiated settlement in the months ahead.”
Mark Harper, Transport Secretary, said: “After denying its members a say on their own future, the RMT leadership is now trying to make them lose multiple days’ wages through yet more strikes.”
Why was the Network Rail strike cancelled?
RMT union members working at Network Rail were due to strike on Thursday 16 March, until 2am on Friday 17 March.
However, in a statement on Tuesday 7 March, the RMT said it had “taken the decision to suspend all industrial action on Network Rail following receipt of a new offer from the employer”. The dispute is separate to the one involving the 14 rail companies.
The referendum on what the union described as a “new and improved” offer will run until Monday 20 March. The RMT said the proposal “involves extra money” and is not conditional on accepting Network Rail’s maintenance reforms.
It added that it is better than a previous offer it rejected as the 2023 pay rise would be backdated to October 2022, stating: “Network Rail’s offer amounts to an uplift on salaries of between 14.4 per cent for the lowest paid grades to 9.2 per cent for the highest paid.”
The RMT is not making a recommendation on how its members should vote in the referendum.
Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said: “We are relieved for our people, passengers and freight customers that industrial action in Network Rail has now been suspended.”
When is the London Underground strike?
Tube drivers represented by Aslef will strike on Wednesday 15 March, with most of the London Underground expected to grind to a halt. The strike will be joined by staff represented by the RMT.
Aslef said 99 per cent of drivers voted in favour of walking out, saying management failed to “accept that changes to our working arrangements and pensions should only happen by agreement”.
The RMT said London Underground Ltd “started to impose 600 station staff job losses and have refused to rule out attacks on pensions or ripping up agreements on conditions of work despite discussions with the union”.
Mr Lynch said: “Our members will never accept job losses, attacks on their pensions, or changes to working conditions in order to pay for a funding cut which is the Government’s political decision.
“Tube workers provide an essential service to the capital, making sure the city can keep moving and work long hours in demanding roles.
“In return they deserve decent pensions, job security and good working conditions and RMT will fight and tooth nail to make sure that’s what they get.”