Rail Workers on South West Trains are voting in two strike ballots-over pay and the treatment of union officials. Over 2,000 RMT union members are taking part with the result expected on 17 December.
SWT runs commuter services into and out of London's Waterloo station as well as longer distance services across southern England. The pay issue concerns the different treatment for drivers and other workers. Guards, station staff and other employees have been offered only about half as much as drivers.
The company is also refusing to address moves towards a shorter working week. The second issue is disciplinary action against union officials. One of them is Greg Tucker, who stood as a Socialist Alliance candidate at the last general election.
Vernon Hince, the RMT acting general secretary, says, 'A number of our members have been subjected to ridiculous disciplinary charges on spurious grounds. 'The company appears hell bent on breaking the established procedures.' SWT workers are angry over both issues. But there needs to be a strong campaign to deliver the best possible result in the ballots.
It must involve all workers throughout the SWT network, not just at the Waterloo depots.