RMT urged to accept offer on talks about South Wales dispute

Network Rail repeats its offer in an open letter to the union today urging them to talk and not walk away again from opportunities to resolve the dispute in south Wales.

Chris Rayner, route director for Network Rail said: “We remain committed to seeking a resolution to this issue and urge the union to allow sufficient time for talks, rather than revert to strike action, threatening to hold passengers hostage and costing their members money.”

“Strike action is not the answer to resolve the dispute and they should not put passengers in the firing line.  Passengers want a safe, reliable and modern railway and so do we.  Our doors remain open for discussion and we urge the union not to walk away again.”

A meeting, called by Network Rail and scheduled for 30 December aimed at discussing the dispute, had to be cancelled when the RMT announced further strike action held this week.

Trains are operating as normal and passengers remain unaffected by the strike action this week.

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The current strike action is in response to the company’s move to establish an 8-hour roster at its new signalling centre to improve productivity and lower the chances of fatigue risk. 

More than half of the signallers in the new south Wales signalling centre have already agreed to, or have previously worked an 8 hour roster.  Around 80% of the signallers across the country are also on the 8-hour roster system.

The new practice is also compliant to existing national agreement.

The contingency plans laid down by Network Rail have been reviewed by the Office of Rail Regulation.