Train strikes: Series of strikes from Saturday suspended

News / Fri 4th Nov 2022 at 04:46pm

A SERIES of strikes by railway workers planned for 5, 7 and 9 November has been suspended, the RMT union has said reports the BBC.

But Network Rail warned that the late notice meant services on Saturday would remain “extremely limited”, and trains on Monday are likely to be affected.

The RMT, which represents rail workers, said it would now enter “a period of intensive negotiations” with Network Rail and the rail companies.

The strike had been called in a dispute over pay and conditions.

They involved staff at Network Rail, which employs signalling workers across England, Scotland and Wales.

As a result, the action had been expected to have a major impact across the network, with only a fifth of services due to run. 

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said the threat of strike action “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.”

He added that there had been “the promise of an offer” on pay from the rail operating companies.

Mr Lynch also warned that if the union felt the need to take strike action during the next six months, it would still do so.

Tim Shoveller, Network Rail’s chief negotiator, welcomed the suspension of the strike but said: “The very late notice means that services for tomorrow cannot be reinstated and will remain extremely limited,” adding that services on Monday are also likely to be disrupted.

He said Network Rail “look forward to getting back round the table with all our trades unions early next week to see if the progress made this week can be built on, and a resolution found.”

Network Rail continues to advise passengers to check before they travel, and to only travel by rail if absolutely necessary on Saturday and Monday.

Mark Harper, the UK’s new transport secretary, said that the suspension of the strike action was “a positive development for passengers up and down the country”.

But he cautioned that the very late notice means “there will still be significant disruption across the network tomorrow and into Monday”.

He added that calling off the latest strikes has given negotiations between unions and employers a “better chance of success”.

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