Train staff consider staging Christmas strike

The
RMT is to ballot South West Trains staff over a Christmas strike.

The
ballots, concerning pay and conditions and the alleged abuse of disciplinary
procedures, will take place on 5 December with a return date of 17 December.

All
2,100 members will be balloted on pay and conditions, although only 660 train
guards and drivers will vote on the dispute over disciplinary procedures.

The
union is calling for all staff to be given pay increases in line with a deal
given to train drivers.

This
included a 3.8 per cent increase in April and a further 3.8 per cent rise in
October, which is double the rate for some staff groups.

"These
loyal members deserve equal treatment to drivers, who have essentially been
offered twice as much as other grades. All we want is a fair deal for our
members – which, despite our best efforts at the negotiating table, has not
been forthcoming," said acting general secretary of the RMT, Vernon Hince.

By Paul Nelson

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