Pension deal halts rail firm strike threat

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THE threat of further strikes at Sheffield to London rail company East Midlands Trains has been withdrawn after a deal was agreed with trade union representatives.

The RMT union, which represents guards and train crew, was due to announce the results of a ballot over possible industrial action yesterday in a row over pensions.

But East Midlands Trains offered to increase pay and pensions benefits in exchange for the union accepting its plans to cut company pension contributions on recommendation of independent advisors.

Now the RMT has withdrawn its ballot.

Another trade union, Unite, which represents maintenance staff, has also decided not to go ahead with industrial action having been offered a pay rise of 3.8 per cent.

And train drivers’ union ASLEF, which held six one-day strikes over the issue, has not announced any further industrial action.

David Horne, managing director of East Midlands Trains, said: “This is a positive step by the RMT and further welcome news for our passengers. We are pleased we now have two trade unions who are considering our updated pensions proposals and who have stepped back from unnecessary industrial action.”

The RMT’s local representatives have unanimously accepted the offer and will be recommending to their members the company’s updated pensions proposals. The deal will now be put forward to the RMT Executive for approval.