Strike threat on trains

PUBLISHED: 16:28 24 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:56 04 May 2010

TRAIN operator First Capital Connect (FCC) say they hope to keep disruption to a minimum during a planned 24 hour rail strike next week. About 1,500 members of the Rail Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at FCC and National Express East Anglia, who ru

TRAIN operators First Capital Connect (FCC) say they hope to keep disruption to a minimum during a planned 24 hour rail strike next week.

About 1,500 members of the Rail Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at FCC and National Express East Anglia, who run services through Comet country, are threatening to walk out at midnight on Monday.

The RMT ordered the strikes, accusing the two operators of failing to guarantee that no compulsory redundancies would be made.

RMT secretary Bob Crow says FCC, are seeking job cuts to maintain profits and dividends.

"Now our members, and the public they serve, are faced with the prospect of 300 job losses, cuts to services and the creeping casualisation of professional railway jobs with the use of agency and contract labour.

"FCC is determined to slash booking office opening times at more than 40 stations by 800 hours a week, despite revenue growth of 8 per cent and a £55m dividend."

FCC said discussions continue with the RMT hoping they can reach a meaningful conclusion with the strike being called off.

A FCC spokesman said: "Should a strike go ahead, we have worked on plans to ensure that any disruption to customers will be kept to an absolute minimum.

"The RMT is one of four unions recognised by FCC which means that the majority of our staff will be available for work during the strike period."

A National Express East Anglia spokesman said: "The RMT is pursuing a needless dispute which will only result in loss of earnings for their members.

"In the event of the strike taking place, we will run the majority of our train services on the National Express East Anglia network.

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