THOUSANDS of rail workers are to go on strike for three days later this month in a dispute over pay.

Members of the Rail, Maritme and Transport union (RMT) have voted in favour of industrial action across the UK’s railway network on 21, 23 and 25 June.

The union says over 50,000 railway workers will walk out as part of three days of national strike action, making it the biggest dispute on the network since 1989. The RMT says strike action has come about due to the inability of the rail employers to come to a negotiated settlement with RMT.

The RMT said in a statement: “Network Rail and the train operating companies have subjected their staff to multiyear pay freezes and plan to cut thousands of jobs which will make the railways unsafe.

“Despite intense talks with the rail bosses, RMT has not been able to secure a pay proposal nor a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies. “In a separate dispute over pensions and job losses, London Underground RMT members will take strike action on June 21st.”

RMT general secretary, Mick Lynch, added: "Railway workers have been treated appallingly and despite our best efforts in negotiations, the rail industry with the support of the government has failed to take their concerns seriously.

"We have a cost-of-living crisis, and it is unacceptable for railway workers to either lose their jobs or face another year of a pay freeze when inflation is at 11.1pc and rising.

"Our union will now embark on a sustained campaign of industrial action which will shut down the railway system.

"Rail companies are making at least £500m a year in profits, whilst fat cat rail bosses have been paid millions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"This unfairness is fuelling our members anger and their determination to win a fair settlement.

"RMT is open to meaningful negotiations with rail bosses and ministers, but they will need to come up with new proposals to prevent months of disruption on our railways."