Operators call for RMT ballot after Network Rail offer

The RMT said last night that it is suspending all industrial action by its Network Rail members after a new offer was received.

No further details have been given, although the RMT has promised that ‘Further updates will be given on all aspects of the national rail dispute in the coming days.’

The Rail Delivery Group has reacted by calling for a ballot of RMT members working for train operators.

The RDG said: ‘The RMT leadership's decision to put Network Rail's deal to its membership is a welcome development, but train operating staff will rightly be asking why their union continues to deny them the opportunity to have their say on our equivalent offer.

‘Instead of inflicting more lost pay on its members and disruption to our passengers, we are calling on the union to call off their strikes and meet us for urgent talks to resolve this dispute.’

At the moment, strikes affecting 14 train operators are still set to be called on 16, 18 and 30 March, and also on 1 April.

The RDG has previously warned that national pay negotiations could be suspended unless the ‘best and final’ offer was put to its members in a ballot.

Chief employers’ negotiator Tim Shoveller had told Railnews: ‘We spent January working with the RMT and were confident that the package agreed would be accepted by another 4000 RMT members which would take us over the 50 per cent acceptance threshold, but this was not put to members to vote on. The fact the RMT continues to refuse to put this to the members is our biggest challenge and also for their members who want a vote and not to lose any more money.’

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