Network Rail shuts down 7 percent pay rise demand as system 'in a bit of a shambles’

Network Rail chief spokesperson Kevin Groves shut the possibly of a 7 percent pay rise for rail workers as demanded by RMT rail union. He explained the railway finances are “in a bit of a shambles” as during the pandemic the number of passenger using railway network “plummeted to 5 percent of normal”. Referring to the strike action, he condemned “the RMT’s tactic of strike first and negotiate second” and warned “we’re far, far away from” successful negotiations talks between the parts.

Mr Groves told Times Radio: “[7% pay rise] is completely unaffordable for us.

“The railway finances are in a bit of a shambles, to be frank.

“That’s because of Covid.

“Passenger numbers plummeted to 5 percent of normal.

“They’re now about 75 percent to where they were in 2019.

“That leaves us with a £2 billion black home in our back pockets every year.

“This means that any deal we come up with to pay for a pay deal through the RMT membership has to be self-funded within our own budgets.

“We can’t ask for more from the taxpayers to help subsidise the railway.

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