Virgin Train workers to strike over Bank Holiday

Virgin trains workers will go on strike. Picture; John Devlin
Virgin trains workers will go on strike. Picture; John Devlin
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Workers on Virgin Trains East Coast are to stage three 24-hour strikes, including one on Bank Holiday Monday, in a row over jobs, working conditions and safety.

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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.

It is the latest outbreak of industrial action on the railways after RMT members on Eurostar launched a four-day walkout on Friday following strikes earlier in the week at Southern Railway.

In a statement, the RMT 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, said: “RMT is aware that VTEC management are putting out regular propaganda messages to their employees, to justify the company’s attempts to attack job security, terms and conditions of employment and current working practices.

“Long-standing agreements between our two organisations dictate that the company must negotiate with RMT, as a recognised trade union to those agreements, yet the company say these changes are a consultative process.

“Any changes to staff terms and conditions are negotiable matters.

“Our members will not pay the price for a crisis cooked up in the Virgin/Stagecoach boardroom.”

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.