RMT strikes on 14 train operators will still go ahead - but union open to talks
The Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers' union (RMT) has said planned strike dates on 14 train operators will go ahead, but they insist they are open to discussions with bosses.
The union said the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), representing 14 train operators, invited them to discussions to settle its ongoing dispute, but on the condition that planned strike action on 16 and 18 March is suspended.
But the union's executive council said the schedule will remain in place. They added the union will be "available for discussions and will attend any meetings on creating a resolution to the dispute through an improved offer".
The union said it will contact the RDG seeking such a meeting, a RMT statement read.
Members of the union are also due to strike on 30 March and 1 April in the dispute against the train operators.
Members of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) union had voted to accept an offer by train companies last month in their long-running dispute over pay, job security and conditions.
A RDG spokesperson said the RMT leadership have been invited to meet on Thursday for talks. "We are always open to dialogue", they said.
"However we have also made clear to the RMT leadership that meaningful progress can only be made if they remove the threat of strikes hanging over our passengers before it is too late to avoid disruption.
"We urge the RMT leadership to engage with us in good faith and resolve this dispute."
The RMT announcement was just the latest in a series of updates on its campaign of industrial action.
It will be interesting to know whether the latest offer from Network Rail to RMT members is in any way different from the last one
Its members are to vote on a new offer presented by Network Rail, who are responsible for track, signals and some stations.
Strike dates against Network Rail - due to take place from 2am on 16 March until 1.59am on 17 March - were suspended on Tuesday evening.