Track and signalling

26.09.16

Virgin East Coast set for 24-hour strike

Staff on Virgin East Coast are due to strike for 24 hours on 3 October after RMT announced industrial action.

The union said the strike was because Virgin was threatening to cut nearly 200 jobs, and that the company is suffering financial losses from overbidding for the East Coast franchise.

Virgin said it could guarantee a normal timetable during the strikes because of “detailed contingency plans”.

Mick Cash, general secretary of RMT, said: “Our members will not pay the price for a crisis cooked up in the Virgin/Stagecoach boardroom. The action is back on and the union remains available for serious talks.”

RMT initially announced three separate strikes in August, but agreed to suspend them after saying “significant progress” had been made in negotiations.

But Cash said Virgin had “led [RMT] up the garden path” in talks, leading to the resumed strikes.

David Horne, managing director for Virgin Trains on the East Coast, said the changes were part of a “customer-centric revolution” and urged RMT to “rejoin [Virgin] around the negotiating table”.

Virgin East Coast trains currently have two senior roles in the on-board team – the head of crew and the train guard. Under the plans, the roles will be merged to form one head of customer relations.

A Virgin East Coast spokesperson told RTM that the company was planning to offer staff voluntary redundancies to make way for the roles, but they said it was “fairly confident” there would be no compulsory redundancies.

RMT has also announced a programme of 14 days of strikes as part of its ongoing dispute with Southern, beginning on 11 October.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

Andrew Gwilt   26/09/2016 at 23:12

As the strikes will happen on Virgin Trains East Coast. I think it will affect Grand Central, GTR Great Northern and Hull Trains aswell Northern and Transpennine Express unless the strikes won't affect any services but only on VTEC services in & out of London Kings Cross and across North of England.

Jerry Alderson   27/09/2016 at 13:05

RTM: "Virgin East Coast trains currently have two senior roles in the on-board team – the head of crew and the train guard. Under the plans, the roles will be merged to form one head of customer relations." I, for one, would find it useful to understand the crew on a VTEC screen. Also, it's not clear if ther plans include the train driver doing more of the operational role. I assume that at most of the stations that VTEC trains call at the staiton staff dispatch the trains. RTM: "the company was planning to offer staff voluntary redundancies to make way for the roles, but they said it was “fairly confident” there would be no compulsory redundancies." So why a srtrike then? Because it is not 100% certain that there wil be no compulsory reduncancies - in which case why not wait until it is announced - or because the remaining staff would have to work harder? If neither then isn't this a good thing for the railway economics (i.e. creating a value-for-money sustainable railway increasing job security) and therefore the farepayer and taxpayer? Any chance of more info, RTM?

Jerry Alderson (Fix Typo On Previous)   27/09/2016 at 13:07

I meant "I, for one, would find it useful to understand the [composition of the] crew on a VTEC train."

Martin T   29/09/2016 at 16:21

RMT website says "VTEC trains are being commandeered from the current crews in order to train up a ramshackle and under-trained scab army of managers from East Midlands Trains." The s-word was frequently used in the 1970s but rarely heard these days. With Southern dispute going wrong way for RMT's Mick Cash, having boxed himself into a corner with no way ot negotiate out of it, he seems to be getting desperate as he fights to save his job.

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Almost 1.5 million eTickets sold six months after introduction

27/03/2017Almost 1.5 million eTickets sold six months after introduction

Newly released figures of eTicket sales have shown that over one million have been sold since the modern system was first implemented last year. ... more >
Southern completes Class 377 modifications for extreme winter weather

27/03/2017Southern completes Class 377 modifications for extreme winter weather

Southern’s Class 377 fleet has been given a major upgrade to make it more resilient to frost and snowy weather this winter. Engineers ... more >
First MTR joint venture awarded South Western franchise

27/03/2017First MTR joint venture awarded South Western franchise

First MTR South Western Trains Limited (First MTR) has been awarded the new South Western franchise by the government, which will see the introdu... more >

editor's comment

08/03/2017A celebration of rail achievement

Welcome to this special UK Rail Industry Awards (UKRIA) review issue of RTM. The fourth edition of the prestigious awards took place on 9 February at London’s Battersea Evolution and, once again, was a huge success.  With over 1,100 rail decision-makers in attendance, the black-tie event was a great place for networking and celebrating the success of the rail industry in the last 12 months. To see who won at this year’s... read more >

last word

Reasons to be cheerful

Reasons to be cheerful

Ahead of the major imminent reforms to the apprenticeship system, Simon Rennie, general manager of the National Training Academy for Rail, outlines the industry’s reasons to be positive abo... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Raising wall work at Linlithgow heritage railway site completed

24/03/2017Raising wall work at Linlithgow heritage railway site completed

Work has been completed to raise the height of walls bordering the railway heritage site at Royal Terrace and Union Road in Linlithgow, as part of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP). A total of £650k has been put into the project to ensure the boundary of the railway is compliant with safety standards for an electrif... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Overcoming the challenges of e-ticketing

23/03/2017Overcoming the challenges of e-ticketing

Justin Stenner, head of technology for Heathrow Express, considers the  benefits and drawbacks of implementing e-ticketing on rail services.... more >
Breathing life back into the Connaught Tunnel

23/03/2017Breathing life back into the Connaught Tunnel

Linda Miller, former Crossrail project manager, Connaught Tunnel, reflects on the challenges of widening and deepening the vital Victorian tunnel... more >
The case for rail integration

23/03/2017The case for rail integration

Jeremy Long, CEO of European Business at MTR Corporation, reflects on how stronger integration of train and track could benefit major rail infras... more >
Getting fire testing standards right

23/03/2017Getting fire testing standards right

Richard Nowell, rolling stock engineer at the RSSB, discusses the ‘EN 45545-2 Fire testing of materials and components for trains’, a... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Intertrain: ready for the future

23/02/2017Intertrain: ready for the future

RTM recently attended Intertrain’s ‘Driving for Success’ event in Doncaster, where leaders from major players such as Carillion... more >