More railway workers to be balloted for strikes

TSSA members in several train companies and Network Rail are voting on whether to take industrial action.

Manuel Cortes
Manuel Cortes

More railway workers are to be balloted for strikes amid growing disputes across the industry, increasing the threat of disruption to services over the summer.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) served notice to ballot its members at Greater Anglia for strike action and action short of strike over pay, conditions and job security.

The union is demanding a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies for 2022, no unagreed changes to terms and conditions, and a pay increase which reflects the rising cost of living.

Voting starts on June 29, with the result due in mid-July, so the earliest date strike action could take place is July 27.

The TSSA is also balloting its members in Network Rail, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, West Midlands Trains, Avanti West Coast, Northern, LNER, C2C, Great Western Railway (GWR) and TransPennine Express.

Greater Anglia services were disrupted on Thursday by a 24-hour walkout by members of the drivers’ union Aslef as well as the national strikes by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT).

Train services were crippled on Tuesday and Thursday by the RMT strike against Network Rail and 13 train operators, with another walkout due on Saturday.

TSSA members are found in a number of roles, including station staff and managers, conductors, driver managers, train crew managers and platform team leaders.

The union’s general secretary Manuel Cortes said: “Our members at Greater Anglia are seeking basic fair treatment in the teeth of a crippling cost-of-living crisis.

“Rail workers were hailed as heroes in the pandemic and now they deserve a real terms pay rise which keeps pace with inflation, rather than shouldering the burden of the Tories’ economic meltdown.

“Our demands are simple – pay which reflects the times we live in, a deal which delivers job security, and no race to the bottom on terms and conditions.

“It’s time the Government changed course. Instead of making cuts across our railway the Department for Transport should either give Greater Anglia and other companies the signal to make us a reasonable offer, or ministers should come to the negotiating table and speak to us directly.

“The alternative is a long-running summer of discontent across our rail network. Make no mistake, we are preparing for all options, including coordinated strike action which would bring trains to a halt.”

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