Rail strike threat ends until at least Spring as RMT union votes to accept pay deal

30 November 2023, 11:30 | Updated: 30 November 2023, 11:34

An 18-month row over pay, job security and conditions has come to an end, for now
An 18-month row over pay, job security and conditions has come to an end, for now. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Members of the biggest rail workers' union have voted overwhelmingly to accept a deal to end their long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

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The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has been embroiled in a bitter row for more than 18 months, taking regular strike action which has caused chaos for passengers.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "Our members have spoken in huge numbers to accept this offer and I want to congratulate them on their steadfastness in this long industrial campaign.

"We will be negotiating further with the train operators over reforms they want to see, and we will never shy away from vigorously defending our members' terms and conditions, now or in the future.

"This campaign shows that sustained strike action and unity gets results and our members should be proud of the role they have played in securing this deal."

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “This is welcome news for passengers and a significant step towards resolving industrial disputes on the railway, giving workers a pay rise before Christmas and a pathway to delivering long overdue reforms.

“It remains the case that the train drivers’ union ASLEF continue to block their members from having a say on the offer that would take train drivers’ median salaries from £60,000 to £65,000 for a 35-hour, 4-day week – ASLEF should follow the RMT’s lead and give their members a say.”

Aslef members are still taking part in a "rolling programme" of walkouts between 2 and 8 December, with different train companies affected on each day.