Midweek rail strikes suspended after improved offer from employers

A strike by 5,000 rail signalling and operational staff scheduled for next Tuesday and Wednesday has been suspended.

The RMT union is consulting its members after the rail infrastructure company Network Rail offered an improved pay and conditions deal.

However, next Sunday and Monday’s action (June 25 and 26) remains on, pending the outcome of that consultation.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said Network Rail’s new offer would mean a combined increase in basic rates totalling 11% between April this year and April 2007. It also includes the implementation of the controversial 35-hour week which would amount to an extra six days’ annual leave.

“The recommendation from the RMT executive is to accept the revised offer,” Crow said.

“However, next Sunday’s action will remain on while the RMT negotiating team meets with local reps over the next week to consult over what is now on the table.”

Network Rail chief executive, John Armitt, said: “We have been working very hard to bring this dispute to an end and avert a strike that would have caused disruption for millions of people and damaged the reputation of the rail industry.”

“Yesterday, we proposed a further compromise deal, and we are pleased the RMT has recognised this is a good settlement, and one that it is willing to recommend to its members,” he said.

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