30/04/2003

Talks progress derails RMT strike plans

Rail strikes planned for next month have been called off by the RMT, after progress was achieved in talks with employers.

The strikes, scheduled for May 6 and 7 and 27 and 28, have been called off after talks with 12 train operating companies (tocs) yielded "substantial progress" towards resolving the dispute over the safety role of the guard.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "The train operators have agreed that RMT and our sister union, Aslef, should be included in consultations on changes to the operational rule-book.

"The tocs have undertaken to write to the Railway Safetyand Standards Board (RSSB) to request that RMT and Aslef be included, as stakeholders, in a drafting group set up to prepare an amendment to the rule book.

"This means that the views of railway workers - the people who, after all, carry out the provisions of the rule-book - will now be heard

"We also understand that the operators will not oppose the main substance of changes submittedto the RSSB jointly by RMT and GNER, which already have the support of eight train operators."

(GMcG)

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