It looks like a 24-hour strike by Southern railway workers next Wednesday in a row over ticket office closures will not be going ahead.
Rail union RMT confirmed today that it has suspended strike action involving Southern operator Govia Thameslink's station staff, scheduled for 7 September, after "significant progress" was made in talks held at ACAS yesterday.
The union had called a 24-hour walkout after a 70 per cent vote in favour of strike action over Govia's intention to change staff roles at stations.
Strike action in the separate dispute on the Southern part of the franchise over safety and the future role of guards is still set to go ahead as planned next Wednesday and Thursday "as the company continue to refuse to engage in genuine talks without preconditions", the union said.
“It is a testament to the solidarity and determination of our station staff members on Govia Thameslink that we have been able to achieve significant progress in the talks at ACAS that have enabled us to suspend next week’s action," said RMT general secretary Mick Cash.
"The leverage from the vote for strike action has been pivotal in securing the package of measures that will protect jobs, safety and the services we deliver to the travelling public.
“The separate dispute on the Southern section of Govia over guards and safety remains unresolved and the strike action involving our members next week goes ahead as planned. The union will be focussing all of its efforts on supporting this safety-critical group of members as they continue to fight for safe, secure and accessible services for all.”
A Southern spokesperson said: "We are pleased for our passengers that the RMT has called off its planned station staff strike and we look forward to working together to deliver a better railway for everyone.
"While it is good news that this dispute has been suspended, we are disappointed that the dispute with the RMT over changes to the role of Southern conductors remains.
Earlier today the Department for Transport (DfT) unveiled a new £20m fund to help improve service on the Southern network.
RMT slammed the DfT's proposals, with Cash stating: "This stinks of another multi-million pound taxpayer subsidy to bail out the failing Southern rail part of the Govia Thameslink franchise."