Now thousands more rail workers announce they will join October 1 train strike moments after Kwasi Kwarteng pledged action to stop ‘militant’ union bosses shutting transport network
- Transport Salaried Staffs Associated said thousands of members will join strike
- Announcement made after Chancellor revealed plan to stop transport shutdown
- Many British rail passengers will suffer more transport misery next month
Thousands more rail workers have announced they will join the October 1 train strike just moments after Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng pledged to stop union bosses shutting transport down.
The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) said thousands of its members in Network Rail and a number of train operators will walk out on October 1 in the long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.
The announcement was made soon after the Chancellor told MPs the Government is planning action to stop ‘militant’ trade unions closing down the transport system.
Britain’s rail passengers will suffer more travel misery next month after drivers in the Aslef union at 12 train operators agreed to walk out on October 1 and 5.
Train operators have already started to suspend their ticket bookings on the days of strikes.
The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) said thousands of its members in Network Rail and a number of train operators will walk out on October 1 in the long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions. Pictured: Manuel Cortes, head of TSSA
The strikes will affect travel to and from the Conservative party conference in Birmingham which is due to take place between October 2 and 5.
Runners hoping to get to London for the London Marathon on October 2 will also be impacted by the strikes as routes into and around the city will be affected.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union and Aslef are also striking on October 1, threatening a complete shutdown of the UK’s rail system the day before the opening of the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.
Aslef members are also striking on October 5, while the TSSA will hold further stoppages on October 5, 6 and 8.
The 12 companies taking part are: Avanti West Coast, Chiltern, Cross Country, Greater Anglia, Great Western Railways, Hull, LNER, London Overground, Northern, Southeastern, Transpennine Express and West Midlands Trains.
Travel chaos is set to return on October 1 and 5 as train drivers from 12 train operating firms will walk out amid a pay dispute
The announcement was made soon after the Chancellor told MPs the Government is planning action to stop ‘militant’ trade unions closing down the transport system
TSSA members involved in the action include staff working in ticket offices, stations, control rooms, and other support roles.
The announcement comes after the TSSA cancelled strike dates scheduled for September following the Queen’s death.
The TSSA is seeking a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies, a pay rise which meets the cost-of-living crisis and no unagreed changes to terms and conditions.
Manuel Cortes, 55, head of the TSSA, is facing accusations of unwanted touching and demanding women he worked with kissed him.
Following advice from the TUC over the allegations, Helena Kennedy KC interviewed past and present union officials about Mr Cortes.
The harassment claims first emerged in spring when a colleague, Claire Laycock, accused Mr Cortes of making unwanted advances towards her in a pub after a Christmas party in 2018.
At least six others have also made claims of sexual harassment or bullying.
Train driver from a dozen companies are set to strike next month according to PA (pictured ASLEF General Secretary, Mick Whelan)
General secretary Manuel Cortes said: ‘We do not take this action lightly. We would much rather find a fair negotiated solution to this now long-running dispute, but we simply have no choice.
‘A huge number of rail workers in our union, many of whom are longstanding members, had never been directly involved in an industrial dispute before this year.
‘Across our railways, our members recently stepped up to the plate yet again and went above and beyond to meet unprecedented demand during the period of public mourning to provide additional services and keep the public safe, much like they did during the pandemic. They prove their worth time and time again and yet they are still undervalued.
‘We can only hope the new Secretary of State for Transport can see sense where her predecessor could not. She has the power to mandate a fair pay rise, reasonable terms and conditions and end this dispute. It is time for train operators to meet us round the table and reach fair solutions.’
Members of the Unite union on the Woolwich Ferry in London overwhelmingly backed industrial action in a ballot.
The workers’ representatives will meet next week to discuss dates.
Unite said employers were refusing to discuss a pay deal for this year.
General secretary Sharon Graham, said: ‘Workers on the Woolwich Ferry are not prepared to be bullied and treated with contempt. They have voted for strike action because there is a cost-of-living emergency but bosses won’t even discuss pay for this year.
‘There is a short window of opportunity to reach an agreement before the union announces strike dates. The workers can rest assured that they have their union’s complete backing.’
The staff have already taken strike action over pay in recent months.
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