Further disruption of train services despite the cancellation of strikes

Rail services will continue to be disrupted on Monday, despite the cancellation of a series of planned strikes.

Passengers are warned to check with train operators before travelling, with some still expected to have reduced timetables due to the change coming at such short notice.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) were due to stage walkouts in the coming days in a long-running dispute over jobs, pay and conditions.

But RMT suspended the strikes, saying it had secured “unconditional” talks with Network Rail (NR) and the promise of a wage offer from the rail operating companies.

The union said the dispute remains “very much alive” and it is continuing its new membership vote for a new mandate for action with an outcome expected on November 15.

Talks will now take place over the next few weeks to try to resolve the dispute over wages, jobs and conditions.

Railway and subway strikes

RMT General Secretary, Mick Lynch (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

A Rail Delivery Group spokesman said there was still advice to check before travelling.

“Unfortunately the late notice of the suspension of the strike means that while the rail companies are working hard to restore services, some services will remain severely disrupted for our passengers until early next week and our advice remains to check before you travel. .,” a spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, a Network Rail spokesman said there would be a “fairly mixed picture” of delays and cancellations on Monday according to the rail operator.

But they added that widespread disruptions are not expected on Tuesday and that services should also operate as normal on Wednesday, which had been another scheduled strike day, since operators will have had time to rearrange regular hours again.

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “The strike threat and our strongly supported industrial campaign have given rail employers meaning.

“We have always wanted to achieve a negotiated settlement and that is what we will continue to do in this next phase of intensive talks.

“Our priority is our members, and we are working to reach an agreement on job security, a decent wage increase and good working conditions.

“Our new vote remains live and if we have to go on strike over the next six months to get a deal, we will.”

Special strike schedules will largely remain in place for Monday, but some operators plan to operate more services than Saturday and hope they will be back to normal by the middle of the week.

The RMT said NR initially declared discussions and consultations closed and intended to impose maintenance changes without agreement with the union.

“They have now backed off and will continue discussions on the basis that ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’.

“This removes the rationale for the current phase of action and means talks can continue without preconditions set unilaterally by the company,” the RMT said.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said the suspension of the strikes was a “positive development”, adding: “We encourage unions and employers to continue their negotiations and the cancellation of these strikes has given these talks a better chance of success.

“It is vital for both passengers and workers that all parties continue to work together and deliver a modern railway that we can all be proud of.

The TSSA has announced that it is calling off its rail strikes scheduled for November 5, 7, 8 and 9 after receiving an invitation for “intensive talks” from the Rail Delivery Group.

TSSA members were due to strike at five different rail companies on different days during the period.

Acting General Secretary Frank Ward said: “We have always said that strikes are a last resort, and we are happy to finally be invited to the first round of formal talks with rail operators in months.”

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