Railway workers on Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC) have voted to strike in a dispute over jobs, working conditions and safety, the RMT rail union said. Over 84 per cent of workers polled backed strike action. The strike will take place over three days just before and after the late August bank holiday, however it will have run-on implications beyond these dates.
The union balloted members in July over possible job losses and safety protocols.
The union said cuts were being "bulldozed through" Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC) putting hundreds of jobs under threat.
General Secretary Mick Cash said the "RMT will not sit back while nearly 200 members' jobs are under threat and also conditions and safety are put at risk by a franchise which is clearly in financial trouble."
"RMT is aware that VTEC management are putting out regular propaganda messages to their employees, to justify the company's attempts to attack job security, terms and conditions of employment and current working practices."
David Horne, Virgin Trains managing director on the East Coast, said: "The changes we are making are part of the customer-centric revolution we have planned."
He added that the company "guarantees that there will be no compulsory redundancies, no impact on safety and a full timetable in place during any action."
The RMT said the dispute involves around 1,800 of its members, including guards, station staff and some drivers, but depot maintenance workers will not be taking strike action.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) is already involved in strike action at Southern over the role of conductors.
In addition, rail workers at Eurostar have begun a four-day strike in a dispute over rostering of unsocial hours and the implications on 'work-life balance'.
Another three-day walkout at Eurostar is threatened from Aug 27 -29 over the bank holiday weekend.
David Horne, managing director VTEC said, “We have worked hard to ensure there are comprehensive contingency plans in place and I want to reassure our customers that the timetable will be unaffected, should any strike go ahead.
“The changes we are making are part of the customer-centric revolution we have planned for the east coast. We’re already half-way through our complete refresh of our trains with all new interiors being rolled out, and in two years will have our brand-new Azuma trains coming into service.
Alongside modern trains, we also want a modern customer service proposition – one that focuses firmly on the customer.
“With our guarantees that there will be no compulsory redundancies, no impact on safety and a full timetable in place during any action, we urge the RMT not to call a strike which will cost its members pay for no reason, and to rejoin us around the negotiating table.”
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