Network Rail chief squirms as he's grilled on £600,000 salary amid train strike chaos

Andrew Haines said he took a voluntary pay cut during Covid, as he hit back at claims over whether he should reduce his salary

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Network Rail’s chief executive squirmed on GB News after being questioned over his £600,000 salary, amid the ongoing train strike chaos.

Millions of people are suffering disruption from the rail strikes, with 80 percent of trains cancelled today alone.

Around 40,000 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at Network Rail and 13 train operators walked out today in a bitter dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.

Network Rail’s Chief Executive, Andrew Haines
Network Rail’s Chief Executive, Andrew Haines
The first day of train strikes has cause chaos across the country
The first day of train strikes has cause chaos across the country

While more strikes are set to take place later this week, causing further disruption across the country.

When probed about whether he, and other executives at Network Rail should reduce their salaries, Andrew Haines quickly hit back.

Mr Haines told GB News: “We are well paid, but I’m paid 20 percent less than my predecessor, I took a voluntary pay cut because of Covid.

“So we are leading from the front in terms of those reductions, I lead a very, very large complexed organisation and if you were to compare my salary to those of other businesses in the economy, you’ll actually find I’m actually in the very bottom 10 percent.

“But that’s not the point, I’m well paid but I’ve led from the top by actually taking significant reductions.”

Before Mr Haines believes the best way to achieve a pay rise is by the rail industry being more efficient, and not relying on the taxpayer.

He added: “Now I’m not asking other people to do that, I’m actually saying we can afford a decent pay rise.

“But we do it by being more efficient and not being a greater burden for the taxpayer and I believe your viewers will recognise that and they will identify that as a way forward.”