‘Genuine optimism’ RMT could be forced into ballot on a 9pc pay agreement offered by Network Rail

The meeting was to discuss a 9pc pay agreement offered by Network Rail.

According to industry sources, there is genuine optimism that Network Rail would be put to a vote by the RMT.

They claimed that there would be a rebellion among RMT members if they were not allowed a vote on a 9pc increase in wages at a time when they would have to forgo eight days of strike pay over Christmas.

The RMT and train operators have not had as many discussions as Network Rail, which owns the rail infrastructure, such as tracks, signals, and stations.

However, with the help of the Government, which has so far tried to avoid the dispute, operators and RMT could reach a deal that would be enough to convince the union’s executive to vote for it.

There are 40,000 members of the RMT, roughly 50/50 among Network Rail and train operators.

Ministers facilitate talks with rail unions in the last hour, as driver-operated doors are demanded by major sticking points.

After Sunday’s rejection of an 8pc raise, representatives of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union (RMT), are locked in talks with train operators and rail workers.

Sources within the government said that ministers were involved in the process to facilitate a solution. However, representatives of train operators are leading these talks.

Union leaders were furious after train operators demanded that driver-operated doors be implemented nationwide as part of an 8pc salary deal.

According to industry sources, unions should not be allowed to use driver-operated doors because they eliminate the need for guards on board certain services.

Sources said that they would not accept a 20pc increase in pay if it was left in.

Unions and train operators are trying to find a solution before play ends today. This is when strike lists for next Tuesday’s industrial action will be effectively in place.

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