Hundreds more rail staff are set to be balloted for strike action and action short of strike as rail union TSSA serves notice for three more ballots. Members at train operators C2C, LNER and Northern will be balloted for industrial action in a dispute over pay, conditions and job security.
These ballots follow hot on the heels of ballot announcements in Network Rail, Cross Country, East Midlands Railway, West Midlands Trains, and Avanti West Coast in an escalating dispute across the railway. Ballot papers in Avanti are being despatched today (Wednesday 15 June).
TSSA has served notice for ballots in the three companies on the following timetable:
Ballots open: 22 June
Ballots close: 6 July
The earliest that industrial action could be taken is 20 July. Over 700 members will be balloted across these three companies, taking the total number of TSSA members being balloted to almost 8000.
TSSA is demanding a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies for 2022, no unagreed changes to terms and conditions, and a pay increase which reflects the rising cost of living.
Impact at C2C
C2C runs train services between Southend in Essex and London.
Stations potentially impacted include: London Fenchurch St, Barking, Basildon, Benfleet, Grays, Leigh on Sea, Southend Central, Southend East, West Ham, Upminster, and Westcliffe on Sea.
TSSA has members in a range of roles, including customer services, station staff, train despatch, managerial, technical, supervisor and support roles.
Impact at LNER,
LNER runs services between London Kings Cross and Edinburgh.
TSSA has hundreds of members working in ticket offices, as station staff, customer services, control, HQ and management roles. These include some of the lowest paid workers in the rail industry in LNER’s customer solutions centre in Gosforth where staff are paid marginally above the minimum wage.
Stations impacted by action would include: Edinburgh, London King’s Cross, York, Doncaster, Leeds, Berwick, Newcastle, Durham, Wakefield, Retford, Peterborough, Grantham, Newark, Darlington.
LNER HQ is located in York where TSSA has members in both management and non-management roles, and many of TSSA’s members carry out safety critical duties.
Impact at Northern
Northern runs rail services across the north of England.
TSSA has hundreds of members in management and non-management roles, including control, driver managers and conductor managers who have a vital role in the safe running of the railway, as well as travel consultants and station staff.
TSSA members work in operational roles across the network, including in: Blackpool, the Lakes, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, York, Sheffield, Skipton, Bradford and Newcastle. They also work in HQ in York and in the Leeds Neville Hill traincare depot where technical and managerial grades are responsible for safety checks and maintenance on a variety of trains including the latest Azuma fleet.
Industrial actions would cause significant disruption across these services.
TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said: “These latest ballots for industrial action show the strength of feeling across our rail industry. People are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis and desperately need a pay rise.
“Our members being balloted in these companies include some of the lowest paid and most insecure – especially those in LNER’s Gosforth customer solutions centre and in booking offices across the country which the government wants to cut.
“Rail workers are seeking basic fair treatment: not to be sacked from their jobs; a fair pay rise in the face of a cost-of-living-crisis; and no race to the bottom on terms and conditions.
“The government says we should be in talks – well we’ve been in talks and they’ve brought no assurances on job security and no pay offers. Enough is enough.
“Make no mistake, we are preparing for all options, including coordinated strike action which would bring trains to a halt.”