A HUNDRED catering crew workers, based in the Manchester depot of Virgin Trains, are holding a series of strikes against the imposition of new rosters. They struck on Tuesday of last week, when many strikers joined the picket line, and were due out again this Thursday. 'We are not prepared to put up with new shifts being imposed on us,' says RMT union rep James Davis. The participation on the picket line shows the strength of feeling. That has grown as management have sent out insulting and intimidatory memos to staff. The catering grades conference of our union backed us last weekend and we feel we can win. This action we are taking isn't just for Manchester, but for all rail workers nationally. Together I feel we must show management our unity and strength.'
RMT general secretary Bob Crow was due be on the picket line this Thursday and the union is fully behind this fight by low paid rail workers. Striker Dawn Fairweather says, 'In this day and age management can't expect people to change their shifts and entire lifestyle without any compromise or consideration, for example people with kids. If we let them do this what else can they get away with?'