EAST MIDLANDS trains face strike action over a “totally inadequate” pay offer, a rail union warned yesterday.
Transport union RMT will ballot its members for strikes and other forms of industrial action after East Midlands Trains (EMT) offered a below-industry 2.7 per cent rise, tied in with productivity clauses.
Stagecoach has held the East Midlands franchise, which runs trains from London to Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield, since 2007.
However the privateers are expected to face competition from two major bidders when the contract expires in 2018.
The union said that the offer was below the current RPI inflation rate of 3.6 per cent and warned rail bosses against attacking “the pay and living standards of their own staff.”
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said the latest figures show that EMT is a company “awash with cash.”
He said: “We can accept that the company, despite having made massive profits, can dish out a de facto wage cut.
“Or we stand firm and demand recognition for the fact that it is our members who generate the company profits and we can fight to secure a fair pay rise for EMT staff which offers dignity and respect. We choose to fight for pay justice, “ he said.
Mr Cash explained that preparations for a ballot for both strike action and action short of a strike were underway and would be actioned should the union enter dispute with EMT after pay talks scheduled for September 19.
An East Midlands Trains spokesman said: “Positive talks have taken place with local union reps and we have made a reasonable and fair pay offer. We will continue to listen as the planned talks progress with the RMT.”