By Sam Ord
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Transpennine Express conductor says, ‘we’re striking for a fair deal’

This article is over 1 years, 9 months old
Bosses won’t pay them fairly for Sunday working and using new technology
Issue 2793
Five RMT union members on a Transpennine Express picket line outside Hull station

A Transpennine Express strike picket line in Hull

Striking conductors on Transpennine Express trains have hit out at bosses’ tricks that cheat them out of fair pay.

Members of the RMT union have held weekly Sunday strikes as part of their dispute. And they are refusing to electronically scan tickets and work overtime.

Conductor Ray told Socialist Worker, “We’re striking four Sundays in a row for a fair deal. There are other conductors out there using new technology to scan tickets and are being paid 2p a scan.

“Our company has decided it’s not new technology and we should be doing it for free as part of the job. We disagree with that and want a fair and balanced deal to go along with that.

“We also used to get an enhancement for working rest days and Sundays, outside of our working week. The company has decided we’re no longer entitled to that pay.”

The strike remains united and strong across all Transpennine Express services. Other unions have sent messages of solidarity and other train workers have shown support.

Churchill cleaners out again on south east trains

Hundreds of cleaners employed by outsourcer Churchill on four rail companies in south east England were set to strike over pay on Wednesday of this week.

Members of the RMT union are demanding £15 an hour as the cost of living crisis escalates. They have worked throughout the pandemic to keep trains across London and the south east running.

The 24-hour strike was set to hit services on Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern, Southeastern, Eurostar and HS1 trains. The cleaners were also set to rally outside parliament in central London on Wednesday morning.

Churchill cleaner Bella told Socialist Worker, “People are choosing between heating their homes and feeding their children.”

Bella and her colleagues aren’t just fighting for pay. “Key demands are company sick pay, travel paid the same as those employed directly by the operators and a proper pay rise,” she explained.

“It’s the guys in London, I feel sorry for—the fact that a lot of them are paying about £240 a month just to get to work.”

Bella hopes the strike will have “a knock on effect for all low paid workers”. She wants this to give them the confidence to take action while also “putting a strain on the Tories”.

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