Hull Trains staff to go on strike in protest against 'drastic' pension plans

Hull Trains staff will go on strike next month as part of an ongoing dispute over pensions.

The RMT said its members who work for Hull Trains will take industrial action on every Sunday in August and they will not work overtime or pick up shifts on rest days throughout the month.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) said its members will take industrial action on every Sunday in August and they will not work overtime or pick up shifts on rest days throughout the month.

They are protesting against the decision to close the company’s final salary pension scheme.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The RMT claims workers are being offered an inferior pension arrangement which will make them poorer in retirement and negotiations with Hull Train’s parent company First Group have broken down.

General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “RMT remains fully committed to defending our members rights to a decent pension in retirement and will do everything in its power to protect our members final salary pension rights.

“This is a well-funded scheme with a healthy valuation report and there is absolutely no need for the company to take this drastic step of closing it down.

“RMT remains available for talks but the action from Monday onwards is back on.”

Andy Mellors, managing director non-franchised businesses of FirstGroup Rail Division, said the company is “extremely disappointed” because industrial action is “wholly avoidable”.

He added: “We have been engaging with union representatives and consulting extensively with members about closing the company’s final salary pension scheme since October 2020 and we have explained why we believe our proposals are essential.

“As a direct result of the feedback received during the consultation, we revised our offer to include an additional company contribution for those employees who are existing members of the scheme we are proposing to close.

“RMT consulted with their members and unfortunately, they chose to vote for industrial action against the proposed pension changes a few months ago.

“More recently, after additional discussions with the trade unions, we proposed further increases to the maximum level of company contribution up to 15 per cent of salary.”