WORKERS IN customer services at Eurostar are quite simply fed up with our pay.
That’s why the 160 of us in the RMT union voted solidly to strike on Saturday of this week.
Over the last ten years the managing director’s salary has increased 200 percent. There have been similar increases for others at the top.
But our allowances for working earlies, which means starting at 4.15am, have stayed at £11.75 over the same period.
We are reimbursed up to £20 for the cost of getting a taxi to work at that time.
But you’d have to live close to the terminals at Waterloo and Ashford to spend less than £20 on a cab.
For me it would cost £42 to get to work.
There are three basic issues. First, we want a decent rate for the job.
Management at first refused to negotiate this and then after six months did come up with a rate. It was lower than what 60 percent of us are on.
The second issue is fairness. People in Ashford are paid nearly £7,000 less than those doing the same job in Waterloo. That is unacceptable. Workers at Waterloo think so too.
The third issue is that management want us to accept new rosters.
The one allowance we get has been frozen for ten years. The starting salary is as low as £13,000.
We’ve been ten to 15 workers short at Waterloo this year. That means we are working harder and saving the company money.
The closest comparable grade to us is multifunctional staff on London Underground, who are paid nearly £5,000 more.
Most of us have never been on strike before. But we really are fed up.
We’ve seen other workers stand up for themselves and win improvements.
Now we think we should too, and we are asking for others to support us.