Second union votes out Network Rail members following strike | Railway industry
A second railway union is voting with Network Rail members for industrial action, which could bring rail services to a complete halt in a coordinated strike this summer.
The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) has announced that its 6,000 members, in positions managing and controlling rail infrastructure, will vote later this month on whether to strike.
Personnel are responsible for safety-critical roles, including power management and signaling operations. They would also provide most of the emergency manpower when RMT flagmen went on strike.
Voting will close on July 11 with strikes possible by the end of the month.
The TSSA has already opened ballots on four train operating companies – Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway and West Midlands Trains – which serve Birmingham, potentially disrupting services to the host city during the Commonwealth Games.
The union is demanding a mandatory no-layoff guarantee this year and a pay rise to reflect inflation after the coronavirus pandemic freeze.
General Secretary Manuel Cortes said: “Network Rail staff are demanding basic fair treatment: not to be made redundant from their jobs; a fair wage increase in the face of the cost of living crisis; and no run-down on terms and conditions.
“Our members have had enough. Don’t get me wrong, we are preparing for all options, including a coordinated strike. »
Cortes criticized the “hollow words” of ministers who he said called for direct talks with the government but refused to meet. He added: “They also launched the insane plan to bring in temporary workers during the strikes which would seriously endanger the safety of our railways.”
Next week’s strikes by Network Rail and RMT union train operating staff are set to bring much of the railway to a halt, with only skeletal services running on main lines and in urban areas. A detailed schedule for the week is expected on Wednesday.
The three official strike days are Tuesday June 21, Thursday June 23 and Saturday June 25, but the disruptions are expected to last all week. A tube strike will also take place in London on June 21.