RMT suspends strikes after securing intensive negotiations with rail bosses.
Rail union RMT has suspended planned strikes on Nov 5, 7 and 9 and will now enter into a period of intensive negotiations with Network Rail and the train operating companies.
It is thought a deal on pay could be announced in the coming days. Management previously offered Network Rail staff a rise of 8 per cent over the next two years, which was rejected as too low.
Mick Lynch, the union’s general secretary, has previously said he wanted a rise at least equal to inflation, which is currently running at 10.1 per cent. Neither side would comment on the amount of money on the table.
Through a strong industrial campaign so far, RMT has secured unconditional talks on Network Rail and the promise of an offer from the train operating companies who up until this point, have made no offer of any kind to our members.
Originally Network Rail had declared discussions and consultations closed and was intent on imposing changes to maintenance without agreement with RMT.
They have now rowed back and will continue discussions on the basis that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.”
This takes away the reason for the current phase of action and means talks can continue without pre-conditions unilaterally set down by the company.
The current dispute remains very much live, and the union is continuing its re-ballot of members to secure a fresh mandate for action with the result due on 15th November.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “The threat of strike action and our strongly supported industrial campaign has made the rail employers see sense.
“We have always wanted to secure a negotiated settlement and that is what we will continue to push for in this next phase of intensive talks.
“Our priority is our members, and we are working towards securing a deal on job security, a decent pay rise and good working conditions.
“Our re-ballot remains live and if we have to take strike action during the next 6 months to secure a deal, we will.”