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Who is Mick Lynch? What did RMT union leader say in Kay Burley rail strike interview - annual salary explained

Mr Lynch is scheduled to appear on the Question Time panel tonight, as more than 50,000 workers are expected to go on strike this week

The UK has been rocked by the largest rail strike in 30 years.

RMT union members will walk out on three days this week due to a dispute about pay and job redundancies.

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Passengers are being advised to avoid all but unnecessary travel, in what is expected to cause widespread disruption.

Union leader Mick Lynch has been the face of the strike, leading the conversation in the media and negotiating behind closed doors.

Earlier this week an interview with him and Sky News presenter Kay Burley went viral after he accused her questions of “verging on nonsense.”

Here’s everything you need to know about who Mick Lynch is.

Who is Mick Lynch?

Lynch was born in 1962 and lived in Paddington in West London.

Secretary General of the RMT union Mick Lynch visits the official picket outside Kings Cross station (Pic: Getty Images)

The 60-year-old was born to Irish parents and left school at 16 to become an electrician before making the move into construction.

In 1993 he started working for Eurostar and became a member of the RMT Union.

In the past two decades he moved steadily up the ladder, serving two terms as the assistant general secretary before being elected as the permanent general secretary in May 2021.

What has he said about the rail strikes?

The union leader has been at the forefront of the strike and has a lot to say on the matter.

The general secretary explained: “Rail companies are making at least £500 million a year in profits, whilst fat cat rail bosses have been paid millions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Railway workers have been treated appallingly and, despite our best efforts in negotiations, the rail industry, with the support of the Government, has failed to take their concerns seriously.

“We have a cost-of-living crisis, and it is unacceptable for railway workers to either lose their jobs or face another year of a pay freeze when inflation is at 11.1% and rising.

“Our union will now embark on a sustained campaign of industrial action which will shut down the railway system.”

Why are there rail strikes?

The RMT Union called upon their members to strike in response to employees wages and concerns around redundancies.

A quiet Central Station in Glasgow, Scotland (Pic: Getty Images)

They have asked for a pay rise of at least 7% in line with the current cost of living crisis.

Lynch explained why the workers had to go on strike saying: “We haven’t had any pay rises, we are faced with thousands of job cuts and they want to rip up our terms and conditions in a form of hire and rehire that is internal to the railway.

“If there is not a settlement we will continue our campaign. I think there are going to be many more unions balloting across the country because people can’t take it any more.”

He blamed the current strike on a “mess created by Grant Shapps and Government policy”.

Shapps, who is the Transport Secretary, called the strike “unnecessary” in an interview with Sky News.

What did he say during the Kay Burley interview?

In an awkward interview with Kay Burley on Sky News, Lynch called her questions “verging on nonsense.”

Burley asked the union boss what would happen on the picketing line if agency workers came in and what picketing would involve.

Lynch responded: “You can see what picketing involves."

The interview grew even more tense when Burley compared the rail strike to the miners’ strike of the 1980s.

Lynch said: “I can’t believe this line of questioning”, to which Burley added: “I’m sorry you feel the need to ridicule me.”

The interview ended with Lynch accusing the questions of “verging into the nonsense,” with Burley explaining her questions were for the “benefit of the British Public.”

How much is his salary?

Lynch currently earns a salary of £84,000.

In an interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV, it was alleged that he made £124,000 a year.

However the union leader denied these claims.

Lynch shook his head and explained that “the total package includes National Insurance, tax and pension contributions.”