Rail maintenance workers’ strike action suspended as Network Rail agrees to fresh talks
RMT: August 12 2008
FOUR DAYS of strike action by some 12,000 Network Rail maintenance workers scheduled to begin on Friday have been suspended by Britain’s biggest rail union after Network Rail agreed to further talks tomorrow.
A face-to-face meeting between RMT general secretary Bob Crow and Network Rail chief executive Iain Coucher on the long-running dispute over harmonisation of terms and conditions is also to be scheduled as soon as possible.
The union, which has already mounted two weekend strikes, was due to escalate its action after a breakthrough made in earlier talks was vetoed by Network Rail at director level.
“We have been seeking meaningful talks with Network Rail and a face-to-face meeting with Iain Coucher in order to get negotiations back on track,” Bob Crow said today.
“Network Rail has now responded positively, and to allow fresh talks to take place the RMT executive has today suspended the four-day strike scheduled to begin on Friday.
“The ball is now firmly in Network Rail’s court and we now expect the company to demonstrate that it is prepared to negotiate with us properly and in good faith.
“Our members have already shown quite clearly where they stand with two weekends of rock-solid strike action, and Network Rail should be under no illusion that they remain determined to win a harmonisation package that delivers fairness and justice,” Bob Crow said.