[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 24 June 2004, 17:20 GMT 18:20 UK
Union cancels rail strike threat
RMT general secretary Bob Crow
Mr Crow said the pension scheme was now re-opened
Britain's biggest rail union has called off 24-hour strike action over pay and pensions planned for next Tuesday after employers tabled a better offer.

The Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union announced the strike on Monday after talks with Network Rail failed to break an impasse on pensions.

A planned strike by workers on London Underground will still go ahead.

Network Rail had sought an injunction claiming the ballot information provided by the RMT was "inaccurate".

Legal challenge

The company claimed some ballot papers had come from signal boxes which had not existed for nearly 25 years.

The court case was due to be heard on Thursday, but RMT leader Bob Crow denied the legal challenge had any effect on the decision.

He told BBC News: "The meeting today was a new and improved offer that was made this afternoon it was nothing to do with the court case."

He added: "The national rail strike is called off. The company has made an offer to us to re-open the pension scheme... the only qualification period would be five years service...

"The company closed the scheme down and said they wouldn't open it and it is now re-opened and we are really over the moon that we defended the pension scheme for our members."

But the London Underground strike due to begin at 1830 BST on 29 June will still go ahead.

And the railway's second biggest union, the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) has also threatened industrial action.

Their bosses are now considering the improved pensions offer.

RMT leader Bob Crow:
"We're really over the moon that we've defeated the pension scheme"

Q&A: Rail strike threat
22 Jun 04 |  UK
Tube staff balloted over strike
17 May 04 |  London

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific