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UK: RMT union suspends upcoming strikes following pay proposals from train companies
The British RMT trade union announced that it has suspended its upcoming nationwide rail strikes that were scheduled for the end of the month. The union’s move follows a proposal by train companies that the union said may lead to a resolution to the dispute over pay and working conditions.
On Wednesday, the RMT said that it was suspending the upcoming nationwide strikes that were planned for March 30 and April 1 after talks with the Rail Delivery Group. The RMT said that following the talks, a proposal was made that may potentially resolve the long-running dispute with train operators over pay and working conditions. This follows waves of industrial action by tens of thousands of rail workers that resulted in the disruption of operations for passengers and businesses.
“RMT will have further talks with the RDG with a view to securing a new offer on pay, job security, and working conditions,” said the union. A spokesperson for RDG said both sides were “focused on working constructively towards a settlement to this dispute.”
Thousands of RMT members that work for the rail infrastructure firm Network Rail voted to accept an improved pay proposal in a separate dispute.
A spokesperson for the British transport department said the union’s decision to suspend the upcoming strikes over the new pay proposal was “a positive step and takes us closer to resolving this dispute” while urging the RMT to put the offer on the ballot for its members to vote.
This comes at a time when the United Kingdom has seen surges of strikes by workers across key sectors in the country. Workers staged strikes to demand better wages to keep up with high inflation and the rising cost of living.
Friday last week, the British government and teaching unions in the country agreed to start “intensive” discussions to end strikes by teachers in public schools over workload and pay. The government and the unions said the National Education Union, which is the largest striking union, would have a “period of calm” for two weeks where no new strikes would be announced.
“The Education Secretary and all unions will meet, beginning intensive talks, which will continue over the weekend,” said the joint statement by the government and the unions.