UK rail union members have voted to accept a deal from Network Rail to bring to the end one of the major industrial disputes, which have crippled train services over the past year.
The 20,000 members of the RMT who work for Network Rail have accepted the latest offer from the company covering pay, jobs and working conditions by a margin of three votes to one. The deal will see salary increases of up to 14.4 per cent for the lowest paid staff.
Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said the vote in favour of the deal by workers was “good news for our people, our passengers and our country”.
“I’m grateful for everyone who worked so hard at Network Rail and in the RMT to find a way through this dispute,” he added. “My team and I will now focus all our efforts on rebuilding our railway so we can provide a better service for our passengers and freight customers.”
But the RMT remains in dispute with 14 UK train operating companies over pay and jobs - currently planned strikes for 30 March and 1 April still set to go ahead unless there is a breakthrough.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Our dispute with the train operating companies remains firmly on and our members recent highly effective strike action across the 14 train companies has shown their determination to secure a better deal.
“If the government now allows the train companies to make the right offer, we can then put that to our members but until then the strike action scheduled for March 30 and April 1 will take place. The ball is in the government’s court.”
Separate disputes with other rail unions, such as ASLEF, which represents train drivers, are also ongoing and could led to more strikes.