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TSSA To Ballot Cross Country On Industrial Action Over Pay

15 November 2019

TSSA is set to ballot members at Cross Country Trains (a subsidiary of Arriva) in a dispute over pay - raising the prospect of strike action in the run up to Christmas.

Cross Country managers are angry that they have been given no indication of when or whether they will receive a pay increase this year, which was due back in May.

This anger has been exacerbated by the decision of the company to implement a 3 per cent pay deal for other staff, agreed with other trade unions.

Since Arriva was awarded the Cross Country franchise in 2007, managers have received the same percentage increase that is applied to the rest of the staff. However, Cross Country tried to impose a much lower percentage increase on managers two years ago and were forced to back down when TSSA manager members voted for strike action.

Once again, Cross Country seem intent on treating managers less favourably. The company has repeatedly failed to give TSSA assurances that the pay increase applied to other staff will be applied to managers.

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, said: “Cross Country are refusing to engage with our union over this issue, the patience of our members has run out, and we are now formally in dispute and will shortly ballot our members.

“This raises the serious prospect of strikes across the country in the run up to Christmas.

“The managers that TSSA represents include controllers and other staff vital to the company’s operations. Strike action will see massive disruption to Cross Country train services at a time when there are likely to be disputes and disruption in other train operators, especially in the Midlands. No one wants to see this, especially during the festive season.

“However, the ball is firmly in Cross Country’s court. As they did two years ago, the company can end this dispute at a stroke by giving us the written assurances on managers' pay that we seek.

“It is very disappointing that less than two years since our manager members voted overwhelmingly for strike action which forced the company into a humiliating climb down, Cross Country again seeks to test our members' resolve to obtain a fair pay increase.

“I have every confidence that the result will be the same this time around.”


TSSA Represents over 150 key managers at Cross Country, many of whom are controllers and other specialists critical to the company’s operations. Strike action would mean most Cross Country services would be cancelled.

Cross Country operations are centred on Birmingham and radiate across the country running to Aberdeen via Derby, Sheffield, Leeds and York, to Penzance via Bristol, Exeter and Plymouth, to Southampton via Oxford, Reading and Basingstoke, to Stansted Airport via Cambridge, and to Cardiff via Gloucester.  

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