Virgin Trains has welcomed the decision by the RMT to suspend industrial action and continue talks about further improving the on-board changes.
The union suspended the walk-outs today after Virgin Trains repeated its assurances that the RMT members would be docking pay for no reason and moving forward with the customer-centred revolution.
Virgin Trains had promised a full timetable during the 48hr strike making the union’s threat futile. It has also given assurances on each point raised by the union at the start of the dispute – including keeping the safety critical duties on-board.
David Horne, Virgin Trains’ Managing Director on the east coast route, said: “We’re pleased that the RMT has agreed to suspend industrial action and continue talks. We had put in place detailed contingency plans which would have seen our timetable run as normal, nevertheless this news will be welcomed by our customers and people.
“We’re making exciting changes on the east coast as part of the customer-centric revolution which has seen us embark on a £140m investment programme in our trains and stations.
“The on-board changes have already resulted in an improved customer.”
Since taking over the east coast franchise in 2015, Virgin Trains has completed an ambitious programme to completely refresh its train interiors. Next year it is planning to introduce a new fleet of faster, greener, more comfortable Azuma trains.
Aligned with this investment, Virgin Trains is making changes to customer-facing roles which will help deliver clearer lines of responsibility for the customer experience on our trains. This will have no impact on safety, and will result in a better experience for customers.