By Mairi Dougan
Workers on Virgin’s East Coast are set to strike at the end of this month in a dispute over staffing on trains.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union plan to walk off the job for 48 hours over April 28 and 29.
Central to the dispute is the rail network’s refusal to clarify whether or not guards will remain on trains.
The RMT says responses to its requests for clarity over the issue have been “mealy mouthed” and “non-committal”.
Similar action has been staged across the UK in recent months, with Southern Rail strikes causing transport chaos for London commuters.
Unions are concerned rail company plans to remove guards from services will cause widespread safety issues and place an unacceptable burden on drivers to ensure doors close correctly and passengers alight trains safely.
RMT general secretary, Mike Cash, said:
“It is simply appalling that Virgin East Coast have refused to give the most basic assurances on the safety-critical role of the guard and their trains continuing into the future.
“This contemptuous attitude has unleashed a tidal wave anger at the grassroots and the action we have agreed on is simply a reflection of the disgust and frustration at months of ducking and diving by the company.”
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