LONDON: Britain's biggest railway workers' union rejected the latest pay offers from train companies on Friday, signalling more pain for commuters who have been disrupted by sporadic strikes since last summer.
The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), said the decision was made after an "in-depth" consultation with its 40,000 rail staff members.
"The message we have received loud and clear (from our members) is to reject these dreadful offers," RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said, adding they did not meet members' expectations on pay, job security or working conditions.
Separately, the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA), which represents train drivers, said "thousands" of workers will be given a vote on offers from their employers, but it did not formally recommend that its members accept or reject the offers.
The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents train operators, said passengers and RMT members would be "deeply dismayed" that the union rejected its offer without a full members' vote.
The RDG had described its offer as "best and final", saying it would improve services in exchange for pay rises of 5% and 4% to cover 2022 and 2023, respectively. It said on Friday it remained "willing to engage" further.
Hundreds of thousands of workers, many from the public sector, have been going on strike across Britain over the past year as they demand pay rises from employers that take into account the worst inflation in four decades.
"Our industrial campaign will continue for as long as it takes to get a negotiated settlement that meets our members reasonable expectations on jobs, pay and working conditions," Lynch said.
The TSSA said the offers it received represented progress in some areas, but that it would continue to ballot for further industrial action and that the dispute remained ongoing.