News - TSSA Christmas rail strikes

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

Hundreds of TSSA members across three train operators are set to take strike action between 26 and 29 December with severe impact on rail services expected, especially in the Midlands and South West.

Rail workers from CrossCountry, Great Western Railway and West Midlands Trains will each take 24 hours of strike action in the ongoing dispute over pay, job security and terms and conditions.

Strike action:

  • CrossCountry: 9pm Boxing Day (26 December) to 9pm 27 December
  • Great Western Railway: 12 noon on Wednesday 28 December to 11.59 am on Thursday 29 December
  • West Midlands Trains: 12 noon on Wednesday 28 December to 12 noon on Thursday 29 December

Action short of strike is also taking place over this period at Avanti, GWR, Greater Anglia, GTR, LNER, Northern, Southeastern, South Western Railway, TransPennine Express, West Midlands Trains.

The TSSA action has caused West Midlands Trains to advise passengers that services will not be running on both parts of the franchise – saying - ‘due to industrial action,. West Midlands Railway and London Northwesern Railway services will not operate on 28 & 29 December’.

Nadine Rae, TSSA Organising Director, said: “No-one wants to be on strike, especially over Christmas, but the government has left rail workers with no other choice as a result of their anti-worker agenda blocking talks.

“Our members at CrossCountry, GWR and WMT are fed up with being taken for granted. The recent offer made by employers didn’t even cover huge numbers of workers at these - and other - train companies.

“The cost-of-living crisis is crippling household finances on top of years of pay freezes. We hope that the government makes a New Year’s Resolution to give employers a free hand to negotiate a deal which meets our aspirations and resolves this dispute.”

Picket lines are expected as outlined in the table below.

Picket line locationCompany28/12/202229/12/2022
Saltley WMSC (Control)West Midlands Trains12:00 - 15:00
Worcester Shrub Hill stationWest Midlands Trains12:00 - 17:0006:00 - 11:00
Tyseley DepotWest Midlands Trains17:30 - 18:3005:30 - 06:30
London Paddington StationGreat Western Railway
Oxford StationGreat Western Railway
Reading StationGreat Western Railway

CrossCountry: TSSA members in Cross Country carry out a variety of essential roles, including Customer Service Managers (CSM), Driver Managers (DTM), Trainers, Control, Customer Communications, Safety, Timetabling and Planning.

Managers are based at main rail stations on Cross Country routes, including: Edinburgh, Newcastle, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Bournemouth, Plymouth. Other staff are based at Cannon House in Birmingham and the Lampblock alongside Birmingham New Street station.

WMT: TSSA members at West Midlands Trains include Control staff, Duty Train Crew Managers, Driver Managers, Senior Conductor Managers (on board staff responsible for guards), station management and duty station management, as well as HQ staff at Birmingham Edmund St working on planning, heads of dept etc.

TSSA members work out of Birmingham commuter stations, including: Birmingham New Street, Birmingham Snow Hill, Bletchley, Coventry, Kidderminster, Rugby, Northampton, Tamworth, Wolverhampton, Walsall. Control staff work from the Saltley (Birmingham) centre and Rugby.

GWR: TSSA members in GWR include staff in Control, Train Planning, Ticket offices and other stations roles, Revenue Protection, Admin and Clerical grades, Driver Managers, Engineering Managers, Guards Managers, On Board Services Managers, Revenue Protection Managers and a variety of other Management grades including those in Swindon HQ.

GWR runs train services to and from London Paddington, Didcot Parkway, Bristol Temple Meads, Bristol Parkway, Reading, Swindon, Exeter St Davids,

Exeter Central, Taunton, Gloucester, Bath, Westbury, Slough, Maidenhead, Newbury, Plymouth and Penzance.

TSSA also has GWR members at Plymouth Laira Depot (engineering managers and maintenance), St Phillips Marsh Depot, Bristol (engineering managers and maintenance), Exeter Depot (engineering managers and maintenance), Penzance Long Rock Depot and Reading Depot.

Talks between TSSA and the Rail Delivery Group (acting on behalf of train operators) have stalled after TSSA rejected an offer which didn’t cover all staff and came with unacceptable strings attached, including ticket office closures and mass job losses.

On pay and job security, the offer was significantly less than the deal struck between TSSA and Network Rail earlier in December. The government has refused to allow the RDG to negotiate more freely or with an improved mandate.

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