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Tory minister criticised for using train driver salaries in RMT strike interview

Tory minister criticised for using train driver salaries in RMT strike interview
Brandon Lewis said train drivers are earning between £56,000 and £70,000but the union that represents most of them is not on strike

Brandon Lewis has been criticised for referring to train driver’s salaries while discussing the RMT rail strikejust a day after 鲍里斯·约翰逊 did the same thing.

北爱尔兰 secretary appeared on Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme where he said train drivers were earning between £56,000 and £70,000.

He added that the disputewhich prompted industrial action on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdayis an “issue between the employer and unions” and that people want to see a resolution.

However Mr Lewis’s use of the higher figures that train drivers earn is said to be misleading as most are represented by another union, ASLEF, while the RMT acts on behalf of lower paid workers such as cleaners and train guards.

In an interview while in Kigali, Rwanda, the prime minister made a similar comment while bemoaning the strike action and the wages of train drivers.

He received a swift riposte online from RMT, who said on Twitter: “Can someone please tell the man with the wallpaper made of gold that this is not a train drivers strike!”

例如, train guards earn between £23,000-£36,000 while track maintenance staff receive wages of between £16,000-£34,000.

RMT boss Mick Lynch has repeatedly made the point that most of the staff involved in the pay and conditions dispute with Network Rail and train operator firms are on between £25,000 and £30,000.

According to the ONS the median household disposable income in the UK in 2021 was £31,400.

After the latest walk out on Saturday Mr Lynch did not rule out further strike action with little sign of a breakthrough in discussions between the union and rail operators.

Speaking outside Euston station at a picket line, 他说: “We’re not ruling out strikes but we have not put down any dates for any strike action.

“We’re going to review with our national executive next week, who have been all the way round the country this week on the picket line, so we’re all going to get together the leadership of the union and see where we are.

“We are not going to name dates immediately and we’re going to continue working constructively with the companies to strike a deal, but that is a really steep challenge at the moment because of the agenda they’ve got and the effects they want on our members.”