|RMT's Planned Train Strikes Called Off|
No indication as to whether industrial action on tube is also cancelled
Strikes on train services planned by the RMT on 5, 7 and 9 November have been cancelled. The union says it will now enter into a period of intensive negotiations with Network Rail and the train operating companies.
There may still be some disruption to services on planned because rostering for strikes is agreed a week in advance. While train companies will do all they can to re-roster their staff following the RMT’s announcement, the short notice cancellation of the strike action means that train driver availability will inevitably be ‘very challenging’ and rely primarily on volunteers.
It is believed at this stage that industrial action on London Underground on Thursday 10 November is going ahead.
The RMT says has secured unconditional talks on Network Rail, which it says had previously wished to impose changes to maintenance arrangements without consultation, and the promise of an offer from the train operating companies.
This may not mark the end of the current round of strikes as the union is continuing its re-ballot of members to secure a fresh mandate for action with the result due on 15 November.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said, “The threat of strike action and our strongly supported industrial campaign has made the rail employers see sense.
“We have always wanted to secure a negotiated settlement and that is what we will continue to push for in this next phase of intensive talks.
“Our priority is our members, and we are working towards securing a deal on job security, a decent pay rise and good working conditions.
“Our re-ballot remains live and if we have to take strike action during the next 6 months to secure a deal, we will.”
A spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group, said, “It is positive that the RMT leadership have stepped back from the brink and called off their strike action. Unfortunately, the late notice means that while train companies are working hard to reinstate services, they will remain severely disrupted for our passengers tomorrow and into the early part of next week. Our advice remains to please check before you travel and on Saturday and Monday, only travel by rail if necessary.
“We remain committed to intensive negotiations to agree the reforms needed to improve reliability, deliver a pay rise for our people and get the industry back on a sustainable financial footing."
Ticketing and refund policy for passengers on strike days remains in place on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday. If passengers have tickets for travel on 5, 7 and 9 November, these can still be used on the day before the date on the ticket or up to and including 11 November. If passengers have a Season Ticket that is monthly or longer, or have an activated days’ worth of travel on a Flexi Season ticket, they can claim 100% compensation for these days through Delay Repay.