The RMT will resume talks over ongoing rail strikes with the government this Monday, according to union boss Mick Lynch.
Lynch told GB News that government officials contacted the RMT earlier this week to “get a meeting in” early next week.
The disruption is set to be amplified by the train drivers’ strike on Thursday.
“We always go to meetings in a positive frame of mind,” Lynch said. “We think there are some sensible changes to what’s been proposed, and that it could develop into an agreement.”
“That’s what we were always working for,” he said.
The remarks come after the union has repeatedly accused government ministers of “blocking” negotiations by not giving rail operators a “mandate” to put a decent offer on the table.
The RMT said that talks last month fell through after train companies were forced to introduce driver-only operation in the deal put forward at the behest of the Department for Transport (DfT).
The accusations have always been denied by ministers, who said the DfT’s role was that of facilitator, not negotiator.
A DfT spokesperson called on unions to play “their part as well.”
“Unions should step back from this strike action so we can start 2023 by ending this damaging dispute,” they said.
Lynch and other union leaders have been criticised for the damage done by strike action to the retail and hospitality industries in the run-up to Christmas.
Network Rail and the Rail Delivery Group, which negotiates on behalf of train operators, declined to comment.