RMT suspends rail strikes scheduled for March 30 and April 1

22 March 2023, 17:56 | Updated: 22 March 2023, 18:52

Rail strikes have been suspended
Rail strikes have been suspended. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

The RMT has called off strikes due to be held on March 30 and April 1, the union announced.

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The union suspended the planned industrial action 'following further discussions' with the Rail Delivery Group - which represents train operators - on Wednesday.

The two sides have been trying to agree a new pay offer after an agreement with Network Rail earlier this week.

A Rail Delivery Group spokesperson welcomed the move, saying: "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."

Read more: Light at the end of the tunnel? RMT members accept new offer as Mick Lynch admits 'it's not very generous'

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The RMT has staged 18 national walkouts since June 2022 and Aslef has held eight due to ongoing disputes over pay and working conditions.

An RMT statement said: "Following further talks between RMT and the Rail Delivery Group today, 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 NEC has therefore suspended strike action scheduled for March 30 and April 1.

"RMT will have further talks with the RDG with a view to securing a new offer on pay, job security and working conditions."

RMT's Mick Lynch on Network Rail's accepted pay deal

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."

"The dispute remains on and the union will continue to make preparations for a reballot when the current mandate runs out in mid-May."

Earlier in the week, members accepted a revised pay offer from the Government.

The lowest paid members will see an above-inflation pay lift of 14.4% - with a similar uplift of 9.2% for the highest paid.

Junior doctors, postal workers, nurses, teachers and other public servants have walked out in recent months - but the Government has appeared more receptive to unions in recent weeks.

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