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Taking the East Coast picket line

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Issue 2524
Virgin East Coast strikers at London King’s Cross
Virgin East Coast strikers at London King’s Cross (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Virgin Trains East Coast (Vtec) workers walked out on strike on Monday.

Picketing London King’s Cross station, RMT union rep Claudine explained, “Vtec made a lot of profit last year and want more. They want to get rid of 195 jobs but we’re already short staffed.”

Darren, another rep, warned Vtec was merging some roles and scrapping others in a way that undermines safety.

The East Coast railway was hugely successful as a publicly-run service—but the Tories reprivatised it and now bosses are squeezing the franchise for all it’s worth.

Virgin’s dirty tricks

Cleaners on Virgin West Coast train line are to be balloted for action against a 15 percent cut to staff.

The RMT union members work for Voith Industrial Services, contracted by Alstom who are in turn contracted by Virgin.

They are also fighting a three-year pay freeze and the imposition of new conditions.

Safety goes down the Tubes in London

London Tube station workers are to be balloted for strikes over issues caused by job cuts and ticket office closures. These include the role of control rooms, forced displacement and grading.

Management’s own report recently blamed job cuts and an unstaffed control room for a serious incident at Canning Town station. An evacuation spiralled out of control following an accident.

Pay deal at Calmac

CalMac ferry workers in Scotland have secured a new pay offer.

The workers’ RMT union is set to ballot and is recommending acceptance of the new one-year deal—a 2 percent rise from 1 October and 1.5 percent bonus next year.

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