Readers might (or might not) remember the old 'pantries' on the Caledonian Sleeper. Staff used these to get some downtime during the night - not even a kip, just a sitdown, a break.
When the company refurbished the sleeper, the company assured staff were assured that there would still be areas where they could take breaks. But like so many assurances from so many employers, it came to nothing, and there are no suitable areas to take a break on the newly-refurbished sleeper trains. Each two-coach section has a 'room', which has no seating or facilities and is no bigger than a studio flat's broom closet. Despite this, management won't let staff sit in empty berths or in the lounge car even when it is unused, both of which the union suggested as a temporary measure until a more permanent solution is found.
The upshot is that all staff are on their feet all night - twelve hours if the train runs to time, more if running late. On top of this, they are being contacted through their period away from work by managers, breaking their sleep and disciplined for not accepting the calls, being forced into using their rest days to take non-compulsory courses meaning they have little time away from work. Add to all this a problem of bullying by some lower-level management and the place is a mess.
So it is hardly surprising that sleeper workers voted massively for industrial action, which is about to kick off. Workers will be striking from this Sunday to Tuesday morning, followed by the same again the following week, meaning two days of sleepers not running. There will also be no overtime, rest day working or higher-grade duties, so pressure on management should soon kick in. Solid action forced this company to back down the last time it upset its staff, so workers are aiming for a prompt win this time too!