More railway workers strike next month after talks break down

More rail workers go on strike next month in the long-running dispute over pay, work and conditions following the breakdown of talks.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) has announced its members will go on strike and take other forms of industrial action at Network Rail and 12 rail operators.

The strikes will take place at Avanti West Coast on 13, 14, 16 and 17 December, coinciding with strikes by Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union members at Network Rail and 14 rail operators.

Strike action is also scheduled for December 17 at c2c, which serves more than two dozen stations between east London and south Essex.

Even the action apart from the strike, in which members will only carry out their contractually stipulated duties, will also take place at different times between the various companies during the pre-Christmas period.

The companies involved are Cross Country, East Midlands Railway (EMR), Great Western Railway (GWR), LNER, Northern, Southeastern, TransPennine Express (TPE), Greater Anglia, Govia Thameslink (GTR), West Midlands Trains (WMT), South Western Railway (SWR) and Network Rail (bands 5-8 and equivalent and controllers).

The action short of a strike will last from December 13 until the end of current election mandates, most of which end in January.

This form of industrial action effectively means that TSSA members will not cover the duties of other railroad workers who may be involved in strike action.

The TSSA said talks with train operators broke down on Tuesday.

TSSA Chief Organizing Officer Luke Chester said: “We have decided to pursue further industrial action because it is vital that the railway companies and the Government understand that our demands are not going away.

“Our union has spent the last three weeks in negotiations and while some progress has been made, the fact remains that ministers are unwilling to open the space for a negotiated solution.

“As talks with the Rail Delivery Group have now broken down, we have no choice but to continue with our industrial action. We remain open for further serious talks aimed at resolving the dispute, but further strike action is likely if the current impasse in the negotiations continues.

“We have been patient, but the government’s refusal to allow employers to bid to settle the dispute will now cause suffering for passengers.

“Now a significant offer could and should have been made that would have resolved this dispute, but until that happens, our members will not back down.”

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