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Published on : Friday, August 12, 2016
In a row over jobs, working conditions and safety, the workers of the Virgin Trains East Coast will be staging three 24-hour strikes. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will walk out from 3am on August 19, 26 and 29, and will ban overtime for 48 hours from August 27.
The latest outbreak of industrial action on the railways prompted the RMT members on Eurostar to launch this four-day walkout following the strikes at Southern Railway. The RMT said almost 200 jobs are threatened at Virgin Trains East Coast.
A statement said: “The ongoing dispute came to a head as the company chose to ignore the agreed negotiating machinery and subjected staff to a barrage of direct propaganda justifying their attempts to bulldoze through a package of cash-led measures that would decimate jobs, working conditions and threaten the safety regime that currently ensures a guard on every train.”
The union’s general secretary, Mick Cash added that RMT would not sit back while nearly 200 members’ jobs are under threat and while conditions and safety are put at risk by a franchise which is clearly in financial trouble. They will also not tolerate the cavalier attitude to safety that is now on show as the company mobilises its scab army of managers.
The RMT said the dispute involves around 1,800 of its members, including guards, station staff and some drivers. Depot maintenance workers will not be taking strike action.