Track workers employed by Swietelsky, a sub-contractor used by Network Rail, are balloting for strikes to win better pay, after their employer offered an increase of just 1%.
Given current increases in the cost of living, a 1% pay "increase" amounts to a pay cut. RMT has rightly called attention to the fact that company directors have enjoyed increases of up to 29%, with the company posting a year-on-year increase of profits from £1.18 million to £1.95 million.
The union has called for the company "get back round the table with us for fresh and serious negotiations.” Negotiations are, of course, useful, but securing further talks shouldn't be the aim of any action. The aim should be to win concrete concessions, in this case a decent pay increase (if 29% is good enough for the directors, why shoudn't it be good enough for the workers?). That must be the focus of the fight.