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TSSA ballots GTR staff on strike action

3 August 2016

New strike threat at Southern over ticket office closures.

The TSSA rail union is to ballot over 250 station staff members on strike action at the troubled GTR franchise, it was announced today.

The union is in dispute with the owner of the Southern railway over plans to close ticket offices and axe staff. Under amended plans, 34 offices will close altogether and 49 will only open during peak hours with 47 jobs being cut.

TSSA leader Manuel Cortes said the two week ballot would start on 19 August and any action would be co-ordinated with "our sister rail unions to maximise the impact".

He added:"The GTR franchise has let down the travelling public and its staff and we would like to see it stripped off its franchise as soon as possible because it is no longer fit for purpose.

"Passengers may have to suffer short term pain to see a long term gain in the shape of new owners, hopefully Transport for London if Ministers start seeing sense."

He said plans to move staff out of ticket offices to act as "Station Hosts" had not been thought through. As well as handling large amounts of cash, they would also be in charge of operating gate lines, making a recipe for confusion.

"We have tried to negotiate on these ideas but GTR just seem to be making it up as they go along," he added.

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