Strike action on Friday to affect rail users on North Wales to London line

Reporter:

Patrick Glover

Rail users travelling on the Holyhead to London line are set to be affected by strike action on Friday.

Strike action is set to take place on six dates – December 15 and 22 and January 5, 8, 26 and 29 with all Virgin West Coast members instructed by transport union Rail Uniform (RMT) to not roster on for any of those dates.

This action comes after nearly 1800 train managers, on-board catering staff, and station, clerical and retail grades on the West Coast route voted unanimously in favour of a strike in dispute over pay justice.

The dispute comes from RMT’s demand for a suitable equal offer for its Virgin West Coast members to that received by drivers.

Virgin have agreed a deal for drivers to reduce working hours by an hour a week, without losing pay, and giving them an additional £500 on top of their basic salary.

Phil Whittingham, managing director at Virgin Trains on the West coast, said: "The RMT and TSSA leadership is attempting to cause disruption when many will want to travel by train to spend time with loved ones.

"We have explored a generous 3.6 per cent pay increase; however, the unions' leaderships are insisting on four per cent, double the two per cent average increase seen across the UK this year.

"We know how important it is for friends and families to get together over the festive season, so we will keep the majority of our trains running with fully-trained staff on board and at stations. We remain open to talks with the RMT and TSSA, and urge them to call off these strikes which will cost their members pay for no gain."

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