Posted 12th August 2016 | 1 Comment

RMT announces Bank Holiday strike on VT East Coast

THE RMT has named strike days on Virgin Trains East Coast in a dispute over jobs, working conditions and safety.

All VTEC RMT members, except those working on maintenance at depots, are now set to walk out for 24 hours by not booking on for duty between 03.00 on 19, 26 and 29 August until 02.59 the following day.

The same staff will also take part in a 48-hour overtime ban starting at 03.00 on 27 August, which means the ban will end at 02.59 on Bank Holiday Monday, 29 August.

The union claims that nearly 200 jobs are threatened by staffing cuts.

Stagecoach Group has a 90 per cent stake in Virgin Trains East Coast, and the RMT is alleging that managers from East Midlands Trains, which is wholly owned by Stagecoach, are being trained to work as substitutes during strike days on VTEC.

The union is seeking assurances over job security, the retention of safety-critical staff on trains and no compulsory redundancies.

General secretary Mick Cash said: "RMT will 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. We will also not tolerate the cavalier attitude to safety that is now on show as the company mobilises its scab army of managers. Our members are being subject to outrageous intimidation and bullying as their trains are commandeered as part of the scabbing process.

“The company have chosen to treat the negotiations as a game thus far, merely going through the motions of pretending they did not yet know what their plans entailed. To behave like that is to treat the union and its members with pure contempt.

“Our members will not pay the price for a crisis cooked up in the Virgin/Stagecoach boardroom. The action is on and the union remains available for serious talks.”

Virgin said its services would be 'unaffected' by the action, and that the RMT had walked out of talks yesterday.

VTEC managing director David Horne said: "With our guarantees that there will be no compulsory redundancies, no impact on safety and a full timetable in place during the walk-outs, these strikes will cost RMT members pay for no reason, and we urge the union to rejoin us around the negotiating table."

Reader Comments:

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  • Douglas, Edinburgh

    When is the campaign by the RMT going to end?

    It all seems to have descended way beyond a farce and towards something much more sinister

    With such a militant and deliberate campaign and such provocative and aggressive rhetoric this feels more like a political protest where the RMT will use every opportunity to take industrial action. I wonder very much if they would be trying to inflict this type of (in some cases) misery (read GTR) on the public if the country hadn't dared to elect a Conservative government or Corbyn wasn't such a kindred spirit in support of re-nationalisation

    Not only are they damaging the rail industry and disrupting the public they also run the risk of discrediting the whole union movement they claim to champion. Can't be long before such cynical and damaging actions cause a clamp down on their activities and further changes to legislation to remove their claws

    The modernisation of our railways has got to happen and that will inevitably mean somethings will have to change....if nothing changes then nothing ever progresses....but I guess that's exactly what the RMT (and TSSA/ASLEF) want...

    Frankly an embarrassment to the UK. Although I note that the NLF in Norway are supportive so maybe I've got this all wrong!!