Rail chief earns 20 TIMES wage of train guard as more than half of Brits back strikes

Network Rail chief Andrew Haines earned an annual salary of nearly £ 600,000 last year with many train guards earning £ 30,000 as those on the picket line say strike action was a last resort

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Rail strikes: Boris Johnson calls RMT action ‘unnecessary’

Striking rail workers have turned their fury on fatcat bosses pocketing huge salaries, as a survey found most Brits support this week’s walkouts.

Millions of passengers faced travel chaos on Monday and businesses were hit by a massive loss of custom.

But while picket lines were packed with staff striking for better pay at a cost of living crisis, it emerged the boss of Network Rail earns more than 13 times the average train worker.

Andrew Haines raked in an annual salary of £ 593,000 last year. That is vastly more than the £ 30,000 that striking train guard David King gets.

The 40-year-old, who said he has had no pay rise for three years, was one of the millions of key workers Boris Johnson praised during lockdowns for keeping the country moving.







Train stations were empty across much of the UK again today
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Image:

Julian Hamilton / Daily Mirror)

Dad-of-two David insisted the strike was a “last resort” after protracted negotiations.

He added: “All we want is fair pay. We are not putting a figure on that, but inflation is running at 11%.

“We can not keep up with the cost of living on £ 18,000 to £ 30,000 a year. It is not like the telephone number salaries some of the managers are on.

Frontline staff are threatened with compulsory redundancies and changes to their pay and pensions.

“They want to rip up contracts for a fire and rehire policy we saw at P&O. We have to stand up to that, and we hope that we can help other public sector workers. ”







Train guard Dave King said the strike was a “last resort” after protracted negotiations
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Image:

Andy Commins / Daily Mirror)

David, of Newcastle, told how his mortgage payments have risen to more than £ 500 a month.

But while he and his fellow workers struggle on by, Mr Haines, who joined Network Rail in August 2018, will have no such worries. His salary is 19.8 times more than David’s.

He also got £ 3,000 a year for a car allowance, private medical cover, an annual travel subsidy and life insurance. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps claimed the average rail worker earns £ 44,000. But the RMT union insists it is more like £ 31,000.

And other Brits struggling with rising costs and stagnating wages sympathized with the striking staff.







A poll suggests 57 per cent of Brits think workers have good reason to take industrial action
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Image:

Andy Commins / Daily Mirror)

A ComRes poll found 58% support the action, the biggest for 30 years. RMT general secretary Mick Lynch warned that the dispute could continue for months. And Mr Johnson told the country “we need to get ready to stay the course”.

Mr Lynch said: “RMT members are leading the way for all workers who are sick and tired of having their pay and conditions slashed by a mixture of big business profits and government policy.” Mr Lynch previously claimed railway bosses were “taking home millions of pounds a year” and said firms coined it in during the pandemic, along with £ 16billion of government subsidies.

He added: “The railways made £ 500million of profit last year, when fares and passengers were at an all-time low. And if workers’ wages do not go up it means a transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. ” It was estimated just one in five train services ran yesterday, and then on the busiest routes.







Transport Secretary Grant Shapps claimed the average rail worker earns £ 44,000
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Image:

REUTERS)

Much of Britain had no passenger trains for the entire day, including large parts of Scotland and Wales and the whole of Cornwall and Dorset.

The service is only expected to increase to 60% today before a second scheduled day of strikes tomorrow, if talks between the RMT and rail bosses fail. A third walkout is planned for Saturday. London Underground services were also suspended on the vast majority of lines due to a walkout by workers.

Roads were busier than normal yesterday as people tried to get to work, see family or drop off children at school by car.

Trade body UKHospitality predicted the strikes could cost the sector £ 540million.







More than 40,000 RMT members at Network Rail and 13 operators walking out today
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Image:

Peter Manning / LNP)

But Mr Shapps again refused to talk to union chiefs. He said: “I do not typically meet with them because it’s a red herring.”

The rail strikes threaten to spread to other sectors as a summer of discontent looms.

Communication Workers Union chiefs yesterday confirmed that more than 115,000 Royal Mail workers are to be balloted for industrial action in a row over pay.

Labor was drawn into the rail strikes row as frontbenchers were told to stay away from RMT picket lines. At least 15 Labor of them defied leader Keir Starmer’s orders.

The Department for Transport said: “Unions have shut down big parts of the rail network, hitting local businesses and cutting people off from hospitals, schools and work.

“However, data shows many people can now work from home, so the unions are not having the impact they had hoped.”

A Hinkley Point nuclear power station worker called Jamie yesterday praised the Mirror for supporting downtrodden staff. In a Twitter message he hailed us a “proper paper” for workers.

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