RMT to ballot GNER staff on strike after accusing rail operator of using 35-hour week deal to hide job cuts

About 1,500 members of the RMT union working for train operator GNER are to be balloted for strike action in a row over working time.

The union claims the company has failed to honour its promises to introduce a 35-hour working week, despite an agreement in principle having been reached several years ago.

“The company is simply refusing to talk to us in any meaningful way about what should be the straightforward implementation of an agreement for a 35-hour week on the basis of existing agreed staffing levels,” said RMT general secretary Bob Crow.

“Instead, [it is] cynically attempting to use the 35-hour week as a cover for the imposition of staff cuts throughout the company.

The RMT claims the company has already imposed a ban on filling posts, which has created staff shortages and left its members working in difficult and stressful circumstances.

Union officials and management are due to meet on 6 December. Crow has insisted the union is “happy to negotiate”.

GNER has also been is dispute with the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, which represents ticket staff, over concerns about job security.

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