RMT members suspend strike action at Network Rail – BBC News

  • by Katy Austin
  • transportation reporter

image Source, Getty Images

The RMT union has called off planned strike action on Network Rail on 16 March after receiving a new pay offer.

The surprising development will raise hopes of a breakthrough in the long-running dispute between railway employees and the rail industry, which appeared to be at an impasse.

RMT members on Network Rail will have a referendum on the updated proposal.

As the situation stands, employees of 14 train operating companies will still go on industrial action on March 16.

Although Network Rail staff are no longer joining them, disruption will not be on the same scale and is likely to vary by operator.

An RMT spokesman said: “…the National Executive Committee has decided to suspend all industrial action on Network Rail after receiving a new proposal from the employer. Further updates will be given on all aspects of the National Rail dispute.” in the coming days.”

Andrew Haines, Chief Executive of Network Rail, said: “We are relieved for our people, passengers and freight customers that industrial action at Network Rail has now been suspended. We look forward to further details of the referendum plans.” Looking forward to it.”

RMT members who work for train companies – including train guards – are still on strike on 16, 18 and 30 March and 1 April.

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said the latest development was “positive news” and urged RMT leaders to allow members who work for train companies to vote on the updated proposal.

Last month the RMT rejected what it described as the “best and final” offers to industry and government.

One was from Network Rail and the other from the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents 14 train companies that employ guards and station staff.

It is understood that no new money has been put on the table by the government as part of the revised proposal, but some changes have been made to the salary element of the proposals rejected last month.

RDG has now invited RMT for urgent talks.

The RDG said in a statement: “The RMT leadership’s decision to keep Network Rail’s deal with its membership is a welcome development, but train operating staff will rightly ask that their union deny them the opportunity to have their say on our equivalent proposal.” Why deprives?” statement.

The RMT has previously said it is “focused on coming to a negotiated settlement” and that it had conducted “extensive consultations” before deciding to reject the pay offer.

Industry and government have always maintained that any wage increase must come with a change in work practices.

Now, the RMT has said that it is seeking an unconditional salary offer along with other requests.

After the earlier rejection, the situation seemed to be deadlocked. Network Rail’s boss also recently expressed frustration, suggesting the organization may not return to talks.

There is a strike in the railways across the country since June last year.

Unions have argued that any pay offer must reflect the rising cost of living – currently above 10%.

But the rail industry is under pressure to save money, as the pandemic has ripped a hole in its finances. Bosses say reforms are needed to be agreed upon to afford wage hikes and modernize the railways.

Skeleton services run on some lines during industrial action and passengers are often warned to avoid travel where possible in case of disruption.

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