Rail union RMT calls off proposed strike over Great Northern ticket office plans

Some delays expected this afternoon after train breaks down in Shepreth.

Some delays expected this afternoon after train breaks down in Shepreth. - Credit: Archant

Rail union RMT has called off the Great Northern line strike it had planned for Wednesday following a breakthrough in talks with bosses.

Station staff had been set to strike over the planned introduction of ‘station hosts’ on the platforms in place of some ticket offices – but have backed down after the railway operator Govia Thameslink made an ‘absolute guarantee’ that no jobs will be lost.

Per the agreement reached yesterday with the help of government industrial relations body Acas, ticket offices will remain open and staffed during the trial period, steps will be taken to prevent lone workers being left carrying cash, and staff volunteering for the pilot scheme will be paid an additional £1,000.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “It is a testament to the solidarity and determination of our station staff members on Govia Thameslink that we have been able to achieve significant progress in the talks at Acas that have enabled us to suspend next week’s action.

“The leverage from the vote for strike action has been pivotal in securing the package of measures that will protect jobs, safety and the services we deliver to the travelling public.”

A Govia Thameslink spokesman said: “We are pleased for our passengers that the RMT has called off its planned station staff strike and we look forward to working together to deliver a better railway for everyone.”

A separate dispute on Govia Thameslink’s Southern franchise remains unresolved, and the guards’ strike on that line next Wednesday and Thursday is still set to go ahead as planned.

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