Eurostar strike over dangerous conditions

Submitted by SJW on 18 July, 2018 - 11:31 Author: Ollie Moore

RMT members working for Eurostar will strike on 28 July.

Station workers at the company’s St. Pancras terminal in central London say they have been forced to bear the brunt of “corporate failures” as the station’s small concourse has become increasingly overcrowded. 

A union statement said: “The international terminal at St. Pancras has been reduced to chaos, with staff left to bear the brunt of public anger, following a spate of service problems that have dumped thousands of passengers on the cramped concourse at St Pancras as the season heads towards its summer peak. RMT has repeatedly demanded action to improve conditions but with nothing tangible coming from Eurostar there is no option but to strike.”

Elsewhere in the rail industry, a planned strike of drivers on London Underground’s Piccadilly Line, due to take place over 11-14 July, was called off after Tube bosses offered the RMT union a settlement. 

The strike aimed to win higher staffing levels and an end to an authoritarian management culture. In the settlement, LU bosses have committed to ensuring staffing levels at Piccadilly Line train depots are at least 32 drivers more than the minimum level necessary for operating the line. Commitments were also given around changes to management culture.

However, some activists have argued that the concessions do not go far enough, and that a solid strike, which seemed likely after a good turnout and large majorities for action in the ballot, could have won more. Days after the strike was called off, severe delays hit the line due to staff shortages, which union activists say highlights the understaffing. 

RMT members at Ruislip depot also struck from 12-15 July in a dispute over pay parity for fleet maintenance staff involved in train preparation. The union reported that the strike was “rock solid”. 

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