UK Eurostar crews to strike this weekend

Eurostar staff are to strike on Friday and Saturday after negotiations between unions and the cross-channel train company’s management broke down.

The BBC reports that about 70 drivers and 20 on-board staff will walk out for 48 hours in a dispute over pay, the train drivers’ union Aslef has confirmed.

Further strikes will take place on 26 and 27 December unless the row is resolved before Christmas.

The dispute centres around the value of drivers’ international allowances, which has declined as the value of sterling has fallen compared with the euro.

Allowances have been increased in line with UK inflation, but this has not matched the change in the exchange rate. As a result, drivers lose money when they are in Belgium or Paris, according to Aslef.

The union claims that a formula exists to rectify the problem which the company is not implementing.

But Eurostar said it had made a “fair and reasonable” offer and was intending to operate “a normal service”, covering the trains with French and Belgian drivers.

Employee relations at Eurostar have been strained in recent months, with strikes threatened over issues such as staff rosters and fingerprinting cleaning staff.

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