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Strikes suspended for second time

 

Network Rail makes revised pay offer following additional negotiations

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) union has suspended planned industrial action by Network Rail workers for a second time.

The union had called two walkouts, one for 24 hours beginning at 17.00 on 4 June and the other for 48 hours from 17.00 on 9 June, after NR came forward with a revised pay offer which Union General Secretary Mick Cash described as ‘wholly inadequate’. Talks at conciliation service ACAS have been ongoing for four days and the union has now suspended the action while a further offer from Network Rail is considered.

Mr Cash said: ‘Following extensive ACAS talks throughout the weekend RMT has now received a revised offer that enables us to suspend the planned industrial action while we consult in full on the details of the revised package with our Network Rail representatives.’

The row began with the RMT calling a strike at the end of the spring bank holiday weekend, but this was averted after talks at ACAS led Network Rail to table a revised offer. This was rejected by the union’s members, leading to a call for further strike action, but this too has been averted. Around 16,000 RMT members work for NR across its operations and maintenance divisions.

The Transport Salaried Staff’s Association (TSSA), which has around 3,000 NR staff on its membership and had also been due to strike at the end of May, was preparing to ballot its members on NR’s revised offer but has called off the ballot while the latest proposal is considered.

Unite was also expecting to ballot its 230 members who were in dispute with NR over the revised offer, which it described as ‘derisory’, but in the light of the latest developments it is not yet clear whether this ballot will still take place.

Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said: ‘I am very pleased that the industrial action has been suspended. With ACAS’s help, we have had very constructive talks with the unions over the weekend and I hope they will be able to agree this deal.’

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