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30.05.14

Heathrow Express rail strike to go ahead

Rail union RMT has confirmed that a third wave of strike action across Heathrow Express will go ahead, as it claims a package of multi-million pound cuts threatens pay, jobs and safety.

The strike action will take place from 03:00 hours on Wednesday 4 June 2014 until 02.59 hours on Thursday 5 June 2014.

The union has stated that plans by Heathrow Express to re-organise its workforce, in an attempt to save £6 million over the next five years, has put 200 jobs under threat of redundancy.

Mick Cash, RMT acting general secretary, said: “Despite the bogus claims from the company and the media hype the fact is that the previous two phases of strike action were solidly supported by the staff and the HEX service was reduced down to a skeleton operated by scab managers, with limited training, while Heathrow Connect was closed entirely.

“The planned axing of jobs, and the associated freezing and hacking back of pay and working conditions, is a kick in the teeth for the staff who have made Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect the success story that they are today. The staff have stood up and been counted and it is down to company to halt the cuts plans and start talking seriously about a safe and secure future for this vital London transport link.”

However, Heathrow Express said it will run regular trains to and from the airport next Wednesday when “another RMT strike reduces the firm’s available workforce by two thirds”.

The company added that during the previous strikes it ran services on the link between Heathrow airport and London, although the Heathrow Connect service was halted.

Keith Greenfield, managing director of Heathrow Express, said: “We have asked the RMT to suspend their action to allow constructive talks at ACAS but instead the union’s leadership has decided to strike yet again - despite our making clear repeatedly that strikes are self-defeating, leading ultimately to a worse outcome, not a better one, for their members.  

“That is because each strike adds to the £6m of cost Heathrow Express needs to save over the next five years in order to secure our future and jobs for our people.”

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