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Train strikes: RMT members accept pay offer ending long-running dispute

Train strikes: RMT members accept pay offer ending long-running dispute

RMT train staff have voted overwhelmingly to accept a deal to end their long-running dispute over pay and conditions, the union announced on Thursday.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has been embroiled in a bitter row for more than 18 months, taking regular strike action which has caused chaos for passengers.

In a statement, General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “Our members have spoken in huge numbers to accept this unconditional pay offer and no compulsory redundancies until the end of 2024.

"I want to congratulate them on their steadfastness in this long industrial campaign.

“We will be negotiating further with the train operators over reforms they want to see. And we will never shy away from vigorously defending our members terms and conditions, now or in the future.

“This campaign shows that sustained strike action and unity gets results and our members should be proud of the role they have played in securing this deal."

Meanwhile, a wave of industrial action by union Aslef is still to begin on Friday, in a separate long-running dispute over pay.

Aslef members will walk out at EMR and LNER on December 2; at Avanti West Coast, Chiltern, Great Northern Thameslink, and WMT on December 3; at C2C and Greater Anglia on December 5; at Southeastern, Southern/Gatwick Express, the SWR main line and depot, and on the Island Line on December 6; at CrossCountry and GWR on December 7; and at Northern and TPT on December 8.

All Aslef members will refuse to work any overtime from Friday December 1 to Saturday 9 December.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper on Thursday welcomed RMT's decision, and urged Aslef to follow suit.

“This is welcome news for passengers and a significant step towards resolving industrial disputes on the railway, giving workers a pay rise before Christmas and a pathway to delivering long overdue reforms," said Mr Harper.

“It remains the case that the train drivers’ union Aslef continue to block their members from having a say on the offer that would take train drivers’ median salaries from £60,000 to £65,000 for a 35-hour, four-day week.

“Aslef should follow the RMT’s lead and give their members a say.”

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan previously said: "We are determined to win this dispute and get a significant pay rise for train drivers who have not had an increase since 2019, while the cost of living, in that time, has soared," Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said.

"The Transport Secretary, who has gone missing in action during this dispute, says we should put the offer to our members.

"What the minister apparently fails to understand is that, since the Rail Delivery Group's (RDG) risible offer in April, we have received overwhelming mandates, on enormous turnouts, for more industrial action.

"Our members have spoken and we know what they think. Every time they vote - and they have voted overwhelmingly - for strike action in pursuit of a proper pay rise it is a clear rejection of the offer that was made in April.

"The RDG's offer - a land grab for all our terms and conditions - was made in the full knowledge that it couldn't - and wouldn't - be accepted."