National rail strike: RMT suspend 24-hour Network Rail walkout planned for 4-5 June

 
Joe Hall
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The planned 24-hour strike will no longer go ahead (Source: Getty)

The national rail strike, scheduled to take place this week, has been suspended after unions and rail bosses negotiated a new pay deal.

In a letter to members RMT general secretary Mick Cash said improvements to pay conditions "are enough to suspend the forthcoming industrial action".

The action, due to take place over 24 hours on June 4 and 5, would have caused widespread disruption to the UK's entire rail network.

Network Rail has table a new pay offer that would give workers a two per cent increase in rates of pay for 2015- backdated to 1 January - and a "comprehensive job security package" which includes no compulsory redundancies for members covered by the pay claim until 31 December 2016.

Cash said: "The matter has been considered by the general grades committee and they believe that the improvements are enough to suspend the forthcoming industrial action.

"The general grades committee, as they have done throughout this dispute, are going to seek the views of your representatives before making a decision on the next steps to take. This meeting will be held this Friday June 5."

Read more: This is the pay deal that RMT initially rejected

The original offer, which Cash described as "unacceptable", was for a one per cent pay rise in 2015, with a minimum increase of £250, and a 1.4 per cent increase in 2016, with an additional 0.7 per cent “subject to productivity measures”.

The sides had been locked in discussions over the weekend, although the talks had failed to yield a resolution, leading commuters to brace themselves for severe travel disruption this Thursday evening. The 24-hour strike was to be followed by a 48-hour walkout on 9 June.

A spokesperson from conciliation service Acas commented:

After four days of intensive talks, Acas has helped Network Rail, RMT, TSSA and Unite formulate a set of revised proposals that the trade unions will now take away to consider.

Recognising this, the RMT has agreed to suspend the industrial action planned for this week and next.

This is the second time action has been averted in two weeks, after a planned May bank holiday Monday walkout was suspended.

With 16,000 members working at Network Rail, the prospect of a strike threatened to shut down huge swathes of the nation's railways.

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