Threat of national rail strike grows closer after unions gave go-ahead for co-ordinated walkout if row over pay and jobs is not resolved
- The TSSA also called on the Government to address the cost-of-living crisis
- It is demanding employers award pay increases at least in line with RPI inflation
- The union is consulting about a possible national ballot for industrial action
The threat of a national rail strike has moved closer after union activists gave the go-ahead for co-ordinated action if a dispute over pay and jobs is not resolved.
Delegates at the annual conference of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association also called on the Government to address the cost-of-living crisis.
The TSSA is demanding that rail industry employers award pay increases at least in line with RPI inflation.
The union is consulting its representatives about a possible national ballot for industrial action at Network Rail and train operating companies in a dispute over pay, terms and conditions, and job security.
Passengers at King’s Cross Station in central London during the May Bank Holiday
The threat of a national rail strike has moved closer after union activists gave the go-ahead for co-ordinated action if a dispute over pay and jobs is not resolved (pictured: the general secretary of the TSSA Manuel Cortes)
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union are currently voting on whether to launch a campaign of industrial action over the same issues.
Delegates at the TSSA conference in Sheffield gave a clear mandate for industrial action if no progress is made over pay and job security, saying they support the executive committee in any actions it determines are appropriate.
They agreed a motion which read: ‘If this results in industrial action our union will seek to co-ordinate this with sister unions and other workers taking action to fight the Tories’ cost-of-living crisis.’
TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes warned: ‘If there is even the threat of compulsory redundancies, we will be balloting for strike action and trains will come to a halt.
The union is consulting its representatives about a possible national ballot for industrial action at Network Rail and train operating companies in a dispute over pay, terms and conditions, and job security
‘We will be balloting for strike action if there is the threat of compulsory redundancies on our railways, if we do not get pay increases that match the cost of living and if employers use the economic downturn as another opportunity to change our members’ terms and conditions without negotiations.
‘Make no mistake, trains will be coming to a halt in this country very soon if our members’ interests are not protected going forward.’
Last week, it was reported that RMT was planning ‘Extinction Rebellion style’ strike action that would cause summer travel chaos in a row over jobs and pay – as a senior figure said the union is preparing for ‘civil disobedience’.
The rail union is balloting more than 40,000 of its members over considerations to bring 15 train services including Govia Thameslink Railway, Avanti West Coast, and West Midlands Trains to a grinding halt.
Passengers await trains at London’s Euston railway station ahead of the May Day bank holiday on Friday – amid planned engineering works and RMT strikes
The RMT is balloting more than 40,000 of its members over considerations to bring 15 train services including Govia Thameslink Railway, Avanti West Coast, and West Midlands Trains to a grinding halt
RMT has blamed Network Rail’s planned cut of at least 2,500 safety-critical maintenance jobs as part of a £2 billion of savings on the network – changes that bosses say will lead to ‘trains flying off the tracks’.
It has also taken aim at train operators looking to freeze pay to combat the lowest passenger numbers in over 150 years.
Now the union’s assistant secretary general Eddie Dempsey has revealed that, in addition to potential strike action, members are also considering civil disobedience, The Telegraph reports.
Micky Lynch, RMT general secretary, has warned that its members are ‘extremely motivated’ to deliver a ‘huge yes vote’ when the ballot closes on May 24 – leading to potential action as soon as June.
And Government sources have warned that union officials could adopt Extinction Rebellion style tactics of blocking the railway system.
TFL workers to be balloted for industrial action in a dispute over pensions
Transport workers in London are to be balloted for industrial action in a dispute over pensions.
Members of Unite employed at Transport for London (TfL) and London Underground will vote in the coming weeks on whether to launch a campaign of industrial action.
The union said workers have been told that the value of their pensions will be cut and a final salary scheme will end following a central government-demanded review in return for pandemic-recovery funding.
Unite regional officer Simon McCartney said: ‘Our members are dedicated to keeping London moving. Now they are being told that they will be poorer in old age.
‘This is an appalling way to treat a loyal and committed workforce.
‘Workers are balloting for industrial action as a last resort. Despite repeated calls to management there have been no guarantees on pensions or job cuts.
‘Strike action would inevitably cause severe disruption to public transport throughout London.’
Unite’s members at TfL are spread across different parts of the organisation including Dial-a Ride, London Underground and Croydon trams.
The union said its members are also in dispute over pay and the threat of job losses.
The ballot will close on 26 May. If members vote in favour of industrial action, strikes could begin by mid-June, although Unite said action is likely to be co-ordinated with other unions who also have members in TfL.
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