The RMT rail union has announced that its strikes planned for tomorrow (5 November), Monday (7 November) and Wednesday (9 November) have been suspended, after Network Rail and other rail operating firms agreed to a round of intensive negotiations.
The rail workers union said an offer from the operating firms should be forthcoming at the talks.
A news release on RMT’s website stated: “Through a strong industrial campaign so far, RMT has secured unconditional talks on Network Rail and the promise of an offer from the train operating companies who up until this point, have made no offer of any kind to our members.
“Originally Network Rail was intent on imposing changes to maintenance without agreement with RMT.
“The current dispute remains very much live, and the union is continuing its re-ballot of members to secure a fresh mandate for action with the result due on 15th 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.”
Lynch warned that strikes could be resumed if talks proved fruitless: “Our re-ballot remains live and if we have to take strike action during the next six months to secure a deal, we will.”
Despite the cancellation of the industrial action the network will still be badly affected on Saturday and on Monday 7 November. Network Rail said the “very late notice means that service for tomorrow cannot be reinstated and will remain extremely limited”.
Chief negotiator Tim Shoveller said there would also be “limited ability to change the ‘strike timetable” for Monday.