Rail union TSSA is to re-ballot rail workers for strike action in a further three train operating companies in the ongoing dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.
The union is balloting several hundred operational, station, control and management staff, for strike action and action short of strike. Ballots will be held throughout December with results due just before Christmas. This follows the announcement of re-ballots in Network Rail and seven other train operators.
The companies being re-balloted are:
*Great Western Railway (GWR)
The re-ballot is necessary because anti-trade union legislation requires unions to ballot every six months to keep them ‘live’, unless employers agree to extend for up to a further three months, which employers have declined.
TSSA called off industrial action when an invite to talks with the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) (acting on behalf of train operators) was made on 4 November. The union has been in three weeks of intensive talks with the RDG, and while progress has been made, no offer has yet been tabled.
TSSA remains committed to achieving a negotiated settlement, but the lack of an offer and current timescales means the union has no option but to ballot members a second time for industrial action to prevent mandates expiring before talks conclude.
The ballot timetable is:
Ballot opens: 5 December 2022
Ballot closes: 22 December 2022
Nadine Rae, TSSA Organising Director, said: “Re-balloting is vital to keep the pressure on employers for a deal.
“The incredible determination and strength of our members is what dragged employers back to the negotiating table, and we hope that this re-ballot will focus minds on achieving a settlement without the need for further action. But be in no doubt, we stand ready to call further strike action unless an offer is tabled.
“The issues our members across the railways face haven’t changed – they deserve job security, protection of their terms and conditions, and a pay rise.
“No one wants to be striking in the run up to Christmas or starting the new year in dispute, but with inflation rocketing, and real take-home pay worth less, employers and government must realise that workers across our railways will not back down. A decent offer must be made.”
Talks with the RDG have been held for three weeks and further talks are scheduled for this week.