Threat of national rail strike grows in row over pay and jobs

Threat of national rail strike grows in row over pay and jobs
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Samantha Haynes

By Samantha Haynes

Published: 08/05/2022

- 17:32

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 11:32

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association demanded the Government address the rising cost of living and called for employers to award pay increases

The threat of a national rail strike has moved closer after union activists gave the go-ahead for co-ordinated action if a dispute over pay and jobs is not resolved.

Delegates at the annual conference of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association also called on the Government to address the cost-of-living crisis.

The TSSA is demanding that rail industry employers award pay increases at least in line with RPI inflation.

The union is consulting its representatives about a possible national ballot for industrial action at Network Rail and train operating companies in a dispute over pay, terms and conditions, and job security.

RMT union picket line.
RMT union picket line.
Danny Lawson

Commuters could face travel misery.
Commuters could face travel misery.
Steve Parsons

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union are currently voting on whether to launch a campaign of industrial action over the same issues.

Delegates at the TSSA conference in Sheffield gave a clear mandate for industrial action if no progress is made over pay and job security, saying they support the executive committee in any actions it determines are appropriate.

They agreed a motion which read: “If this results in industrial action our union will seek to co-ordinate this with sister unions and other workers taking action to fight the Tories’ cost-of-living crisis.”

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes warned: “If there is even the threat of compulsory redundancies, we will be balloting for strike action and trains will come to a halt.

“We will be balloting for strike action if there is the threat of compulsory redundancies on our railways, if we do not get pay increases that match the cost of living and if employers use the economic downturn as another opportunity to change our members’ terms and conditions without negotiations.

“Make no mistake, trains will be coming to a halt in this country very soon if our members’ interests are not protected going forward.”

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