England

Virgin East Coast strike called off after 'progress' talks

Virgin East Coast train Image copyright PA
Image caption Virgin Trains East Coast runs services between London, the North East and Scotland

A two-day strike by Virgin Trains East Coast workers was called off after talks, a union said.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) were due to walk out in a row over the role of guards.

General secretary Mick Cash said the company had confirmed there will now be a train manager on every passenger service carrying out duties previously carried out by the guard.

The action was due to take place on Friday and Saturday.

Mr Cash said: "Management has also reiterated that there will be no compulsory redundancies as a result of these changes."

'Contingency plans'

David Horne, managing director of the Virgin Trains route, said: "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."

Virgin said it had given assurances on each point raised by the union at the start of the dispute, including keeping safety-critical duties on-board.

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