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Virgin Trains East Coast August strikes suspended

A Virgin East Coast train Image copyright PA

Virgin East Coast train workers have suspended plans for strikes due to start this week.

Members of the RMT union were due to stage three 24-hour strikes on 19, 26 and 29 August and ban overtime for 48 hours from 27 August in a row over job cuts, working conditions and safety.

But Virgin said the union had "returned to the table for further discussions".

RMT said the suspension "does not mean the dispute has been completely resolved".

"It has allowed... union representatives to go back into talks with management and to extend the deadline for taking industrial action to a further 28 days," RMT general secretary Mick Cash wrote in a note to union members.

Virgin said the decision came after it repeated its assurances over "no compulsory redundancies."

"We're pleased that the RMT has agreed to suspend industrial action and continue talks," said Virgin Trains' managing director David Horne.

The train firm had said its timetable would be "unaffected" during the walkouts.

The firm - which operates services to London, Edinburgh, Leeds and York - is making changes to customer-facing roles which it said "will help deliver clearer lines of responsibility for the customer experience on our trains."

It said it had ruled out any compulsory redundancies as a result of the changes.

However, the RMT had said the dispute involved about 1,800 members, and argued that Virgin Trains was trying to "bulldoze" through changes with almost 200 jobs under threat on the train line.

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