Great Western Railway strikes prove TSSA industrial strength

Image shows five TSSA members, men and women, from Great Western Railway holding red 'Our Rail Our Future' flag

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has said the strike action by members at Great Western Railway (GWR) on Thursday and Friday this week proves the strength of the union's industrial muscle. 

The GWR network will be brought to a halt as a result of Control room along with stations, revenue protection, clerical and other management grade union members staging a walkout over pay, job security and conditions.  

The company has said ‘services will be severely disrupted and some parts of the GWR network will have no train service at all’. 

Services normally run between London Paddington, Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth, Oxford, Cardiff and other destinations (see notes). 

Strike Action at GWR will take place for work that commences between 12:00 (noon) on Thursday 6 October and Friday 7 October at 11:59. 

Additionally, Action Short of a Strike will take place (specifically a ban on undertaking contingency duties arising from industrial action and a ban on out of hours work communication) on Wednesday 5 October between 00:01 to 23:59. Action short of Strike is also due to take place between 12:00 on Friday 7 October until 23:59 on Sunday 11 December. 

Commenting, union leader Cortes said: “With the strikes at GWR our union is showing the full measure of our industrial strength. 

“Thanks to our ongoing campaigns of organising Control room staff, including at GWR, our union now has the power to bring the network to a standstill. 

“Our 500 or so members working in Control in train operators and Network Rail are probably the most powerful group in our railways in terms of their industrial power. This has been a long project, over twenty years in the making, but it's starting to pay dividends at a time when our members most need to have their voices heard. 

“We do not strike lightly but our brilliant members remain determined to get a fair deal on pay, job security and conditions in the face of cuts, economic collapse and a cost of living crisis at the hands of this chaotic Tory government. 

“I’m clear now that with a new Secretary of State in place it’s time the government got the DfT train companies back round he negotiating table with the green light to strike a deal.” 

Notes to Editors

TSSA is demanding

*A guarantee of: 

*No compulsory redundancies 

*A pay rise which meets the cost-of-living crisis 

*No unagreed changes to terms and conditions

GWR has said that as a result of TSSA action ‘services will be severely disrupted and some parts of the GWR network will have no train service at all. Train services on the days following the industrial action will also be disrupted’. 

A very limited service will run on the following routes:

· London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads (some extensions to Exeter/Plymouth) 

· London Paddington to Swansea (only to Cardiff Central until midday) 

· London Paddington to Oxford 

· Reading to Didcot Parkway 

· Didcot Parkway to Oxford 

· Windsor, Marlow, Henley-on-Thames, and Greenford branch lines 

· Reading to Basingstoke 

· Gloucester to Bristol Temple Meads 

· Cardiff Central to Plymouth (via Weston-super-Mare) 

· Cardiff Central to Westbury 

· Westbury to Swindon (via Melksham 

TSSA is an independent trade union for the transport and travel industries. We have thousands of members right across the UK and Ireland, working for the railways and associated companies, as well as ferries, bus services and the travel trade. 

TSSA won the right to bargain for pay and terms and conditions via a collective bargaining agreement in Control in Great Western Railways. Control consists of Management graded colleagues within GWR’s Train Service Delivery and Rostering Resources departments. These bargaining rights were won in August 2021 and February 2022 respectively.

A red background with white text in the middle third. Text reads Our Rail Our Future. On either side are columns of small multi-cultural cartoon people in various train company and Network Rail uniforms.

Our Rail Our Future

Our dispute with Network Rail and all DfT train operating companies over pay, job security and terms and conditions is settled. Find out more about our campaign.

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