A planned strike at the Doncaster plant of Wabtec, where rail engineering staff were set to strike for five days from 15 to 19 December in a fight over pay and conditions, following a massive “yes” vote of 91 per cent in a ballot for action, has been suspended following eleventh-hour talks with the employer. The dispute involves scores of RMT union members and hundreds of Unite members.
Wabtec is a huge American-based company, specialising in the maintenance, overhaul and refurbishment of rail fleet, and its Doncaster operation is located on the famous former British Rail Engineering depot. RMT has attended talks with Wabtec over pay and conditions over the past few weeks but calls for serious improvements to pay and conditions have been ignored.
RMT and Unite members at Wabtec do essential work and the Doncaster engineering works are part of the history and fabric of the railways in Britain and the engineers working on the site play a crucial role in keeping our trains rolling.
The massive vote for action is a reflection of the anger on the shop floor. Following a hastily arranged meeting between the employer and the works committee, action has been suspended pending consultation with union members and a ballot on a new improved offer (recommended by both unions and the works committee) the results of which are expected in early to mid-January.