RMT suspends rail strikes due to be held on 30 March and 1 April
The RMT has called off its two remaining rail strikes next week, with talks to continue to resolve the long-running pay dispute.
Thousands of staff at 14 train operators were due to strike for 24 hours on 30 March and 1 April, but the union has now announced that the action will not go ahead.
In a short statement on Twitter, the RMT said: “Following further discussions between the RMT and the Rail Delivery Group [RDG] earlier today, industrial action scheduled for 30 March and 1 April is suspended.”
A spokesperson added: “A proposal was tabled by the RDG, which could lead to a resolution to resolve the current national rail dispute through a new offer.
“The [National Executive Council] has therefore suspended strike action … RMT will have further talks with the RDG with a view to securing a new offer on pay, job security and working conditions.
“The dispute remains on and the union will continue to make preparations for a reballot when the current mandate runs out in mid-May.”
Train operators have offered a pay increase worth 9% over two years to staff, with a higher raise for the lowest-paid.
The union had initially rejected the deal and it is not clear whether there has been any more money offered.
A spokesperson for the RDG, representing train operators, said: “We welcome this positive step by the leadership of the RMT to call off their planned action. This is great news for our customers and for our staff.
“We are now jointly focused on working constructively towards a settlement to this dispute, which will mean we can do what we have always wanted to do – give our people a pay rise and help secure the long-term future of the railway with rewarding careers for all those who work on it.”
A critical part of the rail dispute was brought to an end on Monday after a referendum where thousands of RMT members at Network Rail voted to accept a similar pay offer, albeit with greater job security and additional perks.
The Network Rail boss, Andrew Haines, said they now had to “build the peace” with the staff after the “warfare” of the last year.
The Aslef train drivers’ union has yet to settle its dispute but no more strikes are scheduled.
A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “This marks a positive step and takes us closer to resolving this dispute.
“After Network Rail employees overwhelmingly voted to accept a similar pay offer earlier this week, we’re once again asking the RMT executive to do the right thing and put this fair and reasonable offer to its members, giving them the pay rise they deserve and helping us end this dispute.”