Train strike: Lincoln commuters face disruption on Bank Holiday Monday

Rail passengers in Lincoln face delays on Bank Holiday Monday as Network Rail workers are to strike for 24 hours over jobs and pay.

The national strike, organised by the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) will see members walk out at 5pm on May 25 in the first UK-wide action for 20 years.

An overtime ban for workers, including signallers and maintenance staff, will also be in place for 48 hours on the Monday and Tuesday.

The RMT said it had rejected Network Rail’s pay proposals because they fell “well short of what is required to maintain the living standards, job security and working conditions of nearly 16,000 staff across operations and maintenance.”

The action follows an 80% vote for strike action from RMT members on a 60% turnout.

Network Rail had proposed a four-year deal that would have frozen pay this year with a £500 bonus, before three years of increases pegged to RPI inflation as well as a no-compulsory redundancy commitment until December 2016.

Chief Executive Mark Carne said: “This strike is deliberately timed to cause maximum disruption to families trying to enjoy the half-term break and millions more returning to work after the bank holiday.

“I find it deplorable that the RMT can hold the travelling public to ransom in this way.”

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “Our members have decisively rejected the pay package offered by Network Rail and the failure of the company to make any moves whatsoever in light of the overwhelming vote in the ballot has left us with no option but to move to a rolling programme of industrial action.

“We have a massive mandate for action which shows the anger of safety-critical staff across the rail network at attacks on their standards of living and their job security.

“It is appalling that NR are refusing point blank to take this dispute seriously, to understand the deep-seated grievance felt by their staff and to come forward with a renewed offer which protects pay, jobs and safety.”

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “I condemn any industrial action that disrupts the travelling public. Network Rail has been entirely reasonable and put a fair offer on the table and has sought further talks with the unions.

“Rail passengers will not thank the unions for inflicting this chaos and disruption.”

The RMT has said it remains open to talks.