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“It’s us today and them tomorrow!” RMT Leeds City Secretary is up for the fight.

Leeds Railway workers are buoyed by support from the public in their fight for better pay and working conditions.

This industrial action is the result of failed negotiations between the unions – RMT and ASLEF – and the Rail Delivery Group. The Rail Delivery Group is made up of Network Rail and the train operators using the railways in Britain.

40,000 Network Rail workers went on strike on Saturday 8th October. They’re members of the RMT Union (The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers).

John Stewart, Leeds City Branch secretary of RMT, said:

“We don’t want any forced redundancies. We don’t want any detrimental changes to current terms and conditions. We would like a pay rise that comes close to something like the inflation rate at the moment.”

Leeds train station had 5.8 million passengers in 2020 making it one of the busiest in England. Northern Rail said the strike action would prevent all but a “handful of services” operating on Saturday.

Northern Rail said they will “continue to work towards a resolution to this issue with the hope of avoiding more disruptive strikes in the future.”

Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan is hoping to find balance between the rail unions and the Rail Delivery Group when negotiations continue.

John Stewart defended the stance of the union and attacked the way the offers to the unions have been publicised. “It’s a 4% rise this year, 2% the next and 2% the year after that – depending on conditions and redundancies. This isn’t an 8% pay rise now!”.

Adam Christie, a civil servant who travels by train to work in Leeds said “it’s fine by me. I respect what they’re doing actually. It’s causing disruption but I can get the bus if needs be.”

What do you think?