England

Northern rail workers to hold strike ballot

Northern Rail train
Image caption Northern runs rail services across the north of England

A rail union is to hold a vote on industrial action on services in the north of England in a dispute over pay.

The RMT union described Northern's pay offer as "unacceptable" and claimed it did not meet "benchmarks for pay deals that RMT has set elsewhere in the industry".

Northern said it was "disappointed" at the ballot and had offered staff "an above inflation pay rise".

Voting will take place at the end of January.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash claimed Northern staff were being offered "a below the rate for the job pay deal".

'Paid properly'

"Industrial relations with the firm were already at a low and the latest pay offer shows continued contempt for the workers who run the service and make the company's profits," he said.

"Our members deserve to paid properly for the work that they do."

A spokesman for Northern said: "Northern has offered over 5,000 employees a guaranteed, above inflation pay rise over the next three or four years.

"The offer is a 2% increase in year one, followed by Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 0.1% in each of the following two or three years."

Northern, which is owned by Arriva Rail North Ltd, took over the franchise on 1 April 2016.

It runs services between cities and towns across the north of England.

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