Union drops strike threat to East Midlands Trains

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) is withdrawing its ballot to decide whether its members at East Midlands Trains should strike.

As previously reported, RMT were holding a vote to let members decide if they should protest against EMT’s changes to the pension scheme.

RMT decided to hold the ballot after the local branch of ASLEF held six days of strikes throughout May.

During the strikes, trains to Nottingham, Skegness, Grimsby, Sheffield and Newark were affected. EMT issued full refunds to passengers, or put on replacement services.

The strikes were caused by disagreements between ASLEF and EMT over plans to reduce train drivers’ pension contributions by £500 per year from July.

Representatives from both parties met to discuss the changes and come to an agreement, but no resolution was settled at the time.

A spokesperson for RMT said: “Further talks with the company have led to an improved offer being put on the table which we will put to our members.”

The new pension scheme will still go ahead in July, but in addition take-home pay and pension benefits will be increased.

This was achieved by arranging company savings in Nation Insurance into additional pension benefits.

Managing director for East Midlands Trains, David Horne, is glad steps are being made to come to an agreement by all parties.

He said: “This is a positive step by the RMT and further welcome news for our passengers.

“We are pleased that we now have two trade unions who are considering our updated pensions proposals and who have stepped back from unnecessary industrial action.”