STRIKES by railway workers which were set occur over the weekend and into next week have been suspended, the RMT union has announced. 

Industrial action was planned for November 5, 7 and 9, with widespread disruption expected to occur across the UK's rail network, including Scotland. 

The union announced that it would now be entering a period of "intensive negotiations" after agreeing to call off the planned strikes. 

A statement from the union said: "Through a strong industrial campaign so far, RMT has secured unconditional talks on Network Rail and the promise of an offer from the train operating companies who up until this point, have made no offer of any kind to our members.

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"Originally Network Rail was intent on imposing changes to maintenance without agreement with RMT.

"The current dispute remains very much live, and the union is continuing its re-ballot of members to secure a fresh mandate for action with the result due on 15th November."

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “The threat of strike action and our strongly supported industrial campaign has made the rail employers see sense.

“We have always wanted to secure a negotiated settlement and that is what we will continue to push for in this next phase of intensive talks.

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“Our priority is our members, and we are working towards securing a deal on job security, a decent pay rise and good working conditions. 

“Our re-ballot remains live and if we have to take strike action during the next six months to secure a deal, we will.”