Southern Rail conductors are apparently being paid £300 every week by the RMT union to go on strike – the equivalent to an £18,000 annual salary.
Hundreds of thousands of hard-hit commuters have faced months of misery as the strikes over a ban on overtime and driver-only trains have caused chaos on the network.
And the news that the RMT are handing out a tax-free daily allowance of £60 to each of its 400 conductors will no doubt fuel passengers’ anger towards the union.
The union has 84,000 members and has a war chest totalling £46 million that can easily fund striking workers, according to The Telegraph.
RMT conductors have carried out more than 20 days of strike action so far and have more planned between December 31 and January 2.
Strike action has been going on for nine months and despite no action being taken today, passengers have been warned that severe disruption is still set to blight journeys.
Angie Doll, passenger services director, said: “We will be working hard to run as many services as possible, but regrettably I have to warn passengers that services will be severely impacted, with reductions and cancellations across all routes.”
Southern Rail and drivers’ union Aslef – who do not pay their striking staff – are continuing their talks this morning.
A meeting this week became heated when Southern apparently refused to talk to RMT boss Mick Cash, whose union represents 12 drivers compared to Aslef’s 900.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling described the strikes as political and a “deliberate act of militancy”.
Yahoo News UK has contacted RMT for comment.
Top pic: Rex