...By Joseph Benjamin for TDPel Media.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) has voted in favour of continuing industrial action for the next six months, as part of a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.
The union said there was an overwhelming vote in favour of renewing their mandate.
In order to legally continue with strikes and other forms of action, unions involved in disputes must re-ballot their members every six months.
The RMT has announced a strike against train companies on May 13, which is the day of the Eurovision Song Contest final in Liverpool.
The RMT has stated that the overwhelming support for further strike action across 14 train operating companies is a “de-facto referendum” on the dispute.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said that members are not prepared to accept a pay offer based on “mass job cuts and major attacks on their terms and conditions”.
Lynch added that the vote sends a clear message to employers that rail workers are very angry and they need to recognise this and negotiate in good faith for a better deal.
The RMT re-balloted members working for 14 train operating companies, saying that all of them passed the 50% participation threshold needed under the law.
On average, nearly 70% of votes were cast in each company, with over 90% of those votes backing continuing with strike action.
The ongoing dispute over pay and conditions in the rail industry highlights the ongoing tension between workers and employers, particularly in sectors where workers are seeking to maintain or improve their rights and benefits.
The decision by the RMT to renew their mandate for industrial action suggests that rail workers are prepared to continue fighting for their rights, despite the disruption caused by strikes.
The upcoming strike on the day of the Eurovision Song Contest final in Liverpool could potentially cause significant disruption, and highlights the potential impact that industrial action can have on wider society.