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Strike Threat Lifted At Virgin Trains

16 July 2012

The TSSA cancelled a strike ballot at Virgin Trains today after a plea by Transport Secretary Justine Greening for the Olympics not to be disrupted by industrial action.

Union general secretary Manuel Cortes made the announcement after the company agreed to new talks over the sacking and subsequent suspension of a union rep at its HQ in Birmingham.

"We have considered very carefully what the Transport Secretary said when we met her two weeks ago and have decided that the country wants to see a fully operational and safe transport system during the course of this showpiece event when the eyes the world will be on Britain.

"We want to play our part in that. I would also like to thank our Virgin members for their backing for their colleague which has led to new talks which will now hopefully produce a solution to this long running dispute."

The ballot was due to end this week with July 26 pencilled in as the day for the possible start of 24-hour walkouts by the union's 500 members on the West Coast mainline.

The union leader will meet Virgin Trains chief executive Tony Collins on Thursday, with a group of West Coast main line MPs led by Labour's Julie Hilling to discuss the background to the dispute.

Formal negotiations will take place between HR director Patrick McGrath and union national officer John Page on Friday.

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