West Suffolk: Rail staff threaten strike action on route to London
14:00 07 January 2014
Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport union on services between Cambridge and Liverpool Street have voted to strike in a dispute over changes to working practices.
The RMT staged the ballot after Greater Anglia tried to change the way its staff work – but the company said the strike should not affect passengers.
Passengers from Bury St Edmunds or Newmarket heading to London travel via Cambridge – from where they can catch Greater Anglia trains to Liverpool Street or First Capital Connect trains to Kings Cross.
The Kings Cross services are not affected by the strike threat.
Union general secretary Bob Crow said: “RMT will not tolerate a situation where Greater Anglia choose to ignore and abuse agreed procedures in an effort to bulldoze through changes that have serious implications for our members and, potentially, the quality of service offered to the travelling public.
“Greater Anglia has been informed that RMT remains available for talks and we hope that management will see sense and take the necessary steps to resolve this dispute.”
He added: “RMT members have now recorded a massive ‘YES’ vote for industrial action in this ballot, sending out the clearest possible message to the company.”
Greater Anglia said the changes being introduced were similar to those which have already been brought in elswhere in the region – and the company does not expect the dispute to affect services even if strikes do go ahead.
Michelle Smart, HR and Safety Assurance Director for Abellio Greater Anglia said: “The RMT has balloted 108 of its members on our West Anglia route and less than half of that number actually voted.
“We will continue to take a collaborative approach with the Union in respect of the introduction of more flexible working at stations which already operates successfully and has been embraced by our colleagues elsewhere in the company.”