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Rail strike on East Coast for bank holiday weekend called off

Members of RMT who work on Virgin Trains East Coast are set to strike on Bank Holiday Monday over the sacking of a colleague.

Workers will walk out for 24-hours over an incident which occurred while the franchise was still operated by East Coast / Directly Operated Railways.

The union is protesting the sacking of Mark Doughty, saying all he did was tell passengers in first class they couldn't have hot food on their early morning journey to London due to a broken boiler and staff shortages.

Doughty was found to be bringing the company into disrepute and the charge resulted in dismissal. 

Pressure from the union led to the company having a director review the case but it did not result in Doughty getting his job back.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "At the director’s review the union’s negotiating team put forward many new and constructive ideas to find a resolution to this dispute. However, the company failed to see this as an opportunity to negotiate and refused to contemplate reinstating our member 

"There is not a shred of doubt that this dismissal was unfair and a travesty of justice. It was hoped that management would see sense and agree to resolve this matter. Regretfully this did not happen and as a result the union has been forced into pursuing industrial action. 

A spokesman for Virgin Trains East Coast said: “We’re disappointed at this decision to push ahead with action when more than three-quarters of staff affected didn’t vote for the dispute, and despite extensive efforts to bring this matter to a conclusion.

“This action would only affect a number of Edinburgh-based staff and our services will run as normal, so passengers shouldn’t be concerned.”

(Update 01/05/2015 10:15am)

RTM has learned that the strike action has now been called off. Mick Cash sent a letter to union members informing them that Doughty has "reached a satisfactory settlement agreement" with Virgin Trains East Coast. 

It goes on to direct union members to attend work as normal. 

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at


Mikeb   02/05/2015 at 15:51

Excellent news! Mr Doughty should never have been sacked for truthfully explaining to passengers the reasons for lack of hot food.

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