Christmas travel: Planned strikes by two rail operators that would have caused Christmas chaos called off


Planned strikes by two rail operators that would have caused Christmas chaos called offWalk out cancelled after 'satisfactory' agreement reachedRow began over dismissal of colleague

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UPDATED:

20:46 GMT, 19 December 2012

Planned strikes by workers at two train operators, which would have caused travel chaos in the run up to Christmas, have been called off.

Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at ScotRail had been due to walk out on Saturday and again on Christmas Eve in a row over the dismissal of a colleague.

The union was also set to hold a 24-hour walkout at CrossCountry on Friday in a separate dispute over industrial relations.

Passengers travelling home for Christmas will also be affected by nationwide RMT strikes

Passengers travelling home for Christmas will also be affected by nationwide RMT strikes

Members of the hard-line Aslef train-drivers' union will walk out for 24 hours on December 26

Members of the hard-line Aslef train-drivers' union will walk out for 24 hours on December 26

The ScotRail action was called off
after a 'satisfactory agreement' was reached between the union and the
company, although no details were given, while the CrossCountry strike
was suspended after 'significant progress' was made in talks.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said of
the CrossCountry development: 'Although the negotiations have been
positive, further talks are required before we are in a position to
reach a final settlement.

'Having considered this matter, RMT’s executive has decided to suspend the industrial action to allow these talks to take place.

'Members have been instructed to work
as normal. RMT would like to make it clear that the union is only
suspending the current strike action. If no progress is made in the
talks with CrossCountry, further industrial action may have to be
called.'

A ScotRail spokesman said services
would run as normal over the Christmas period, adding: “We are delighted
that common sense has prevailed and the threat of industrial action has
been lifted.

'It is the right decision. Our
customers can look forward to normal services over Christmas and to
travel to be with family and friends.'

Scotland’s transport minister, Keith Brown, said the news came as a great relief.

'Nobody wants to see a strike on our
railways, particularly at this time of year, and the travelling public
have been left under a great cloud of uncertainty over the past few days
about how they will be able to fulfil their plans over the festive
period.'

The union has planned the strike in support of former ticket inspector Scott Lewis, who was dismissed after an incident over the type of ticket used by a member of the public

The union has planned the strike in support of former ticket inspector Scott Lewis, who was dismissed after an incident over the type of ticket used by a member of the public

Cleaners working for Churchill's, the contractors on Tyne and Wear Metro, are to hold a 72-hour strike over low pay starting at 10.30pm on Sunday

Cleaners working for Churchill's, the contractors on Tyne and Wear Metro, are to hold a 72-hour strike over low pay starting at 10.30pm on Sunday