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RMT Virgin West Coast support staff vote to strike over ‘workplace justice’

RMT members of Virgin West Coast services have today voted massively in favour of strike action in a dispute over pay.

Out of 1,460 staff polled, 1,330 said they were prepared to take strike action over a disparity in pay between drivers and other station and support staff.

Virgin has previously offered a deal for both sets of staff which sees them get a 3.2% pay rise, but drivers also get a £500 bonus – based on additional productivity.

“Our members have voted overwhelmingly for action in this ballot which is all about workplace equality and workplace justice,” commented Mick Cash, RMT’s general secretary.

“All our members are demanding is a suitable and equal offer to that given to drivers to buy out their claim for a reduction in the base working week. We have made it clear to the company that the inequality and underhanded approach of Virgin will be fought tooth and nail. We will not accept our members being dealt with less favourably than others.”

Support staff have now “had enough” and are prepared to “fight for justice in their workplaces,” argued Cash.

“The result will now be considered by the union’s executive and we remain available for serious talks aimed at righting this wrong,” he added.

In response to the news, a Virgin Trains spokesperson said: “We are disappointed by the result of the RMT’s ballot, but can reassure customers that we will be able to run the majority of services during any industrial action.

“We have offered a 3.2% annual pay increase at a time when the average increase across public and private sector employees is around 2%. We remain open to continuing talks with the RMT.”

Another union, the TSSA, has also threatened to strike over pay on Virgin West Coast services. The organisation announced a ballot earlier this month, which if passed would see its 400 members on the services take action over the Christmas and New Year period.

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Andrew Gwilt   16/11/2017 at 21:23

And what about Virgin Trains East Coast? Will they also strike aswell during Christmas & New Year period.

Jak Jaye   16/11/2017 at 23:58

Talk to any luckless Virgin employee they are totally fed up with messrs Branson and Souter

Tothehills   17/11/2017 at 09:40

As Mr Cash wants the rail network renationalised and BR brought back does he also want the staff pay scales to revert back to what BR would of been prepared to pay without privatisation. No, thought not! I may not like this government but Mr Cash has no mandate to bring it down. Especially as one the last passenger deaths on our rail was deliberately caused by one of his members.

Derby Traveller   20/11/2017 at 18:59

I was involved in a convention of 260 people this weekend past, and only found out on Saturday morning that those nice folk at RMT were on strike this Sunday - and many travellers were not aware of this. (They are also planning to strike most Sundays between now and Christmas.) The Cross-Country website was silent on the reasons for the strike, and the RMT website showed the usual rabid justification for "industrial (in)action". My questions is: why has this been (as far as I can tell) invisible in the press, and, indeed, on this outlet?

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