Rail passengers are braced for further disruption into the New Year with CrossCountry workers becoming the latest to announce 24 hour walkouts from December 26.
Members of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) at CrossCountry will walk out from 9pm on Boxing Day (Monday) night. This is the latest part of a long-running campaign for a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies, no unagreed changes to terms and conditions, and a pay increase which addresses the rising cost of living.
Great Western Railway and West Midlands Trains staff who are affiliated with TSSA will also look to strike. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport [RMT] union are, meanwhile, continuing with a strike in a separate dispute over jobs, pay and conditions.
Strike action across Network Rail is likely to put many networks out of action from January 3 to January 7 with some passengers being advised not to travel unless “absolutely neccessary”.
From December 27 to January 2, Network Rail has said services could be reduced with trains likely to be busier. Services will pick up again as normal from January 9.
CrossCountry covers large swathes of the country, from Penzance to the Midlands, Wales to northern England and also has branches in Scotland. TSSA believes that walkouts by staff will severely impact services.
Nadine Rae, TSSA organising director, said: “Our members at CrossCountry do not want to strike, especially over the Christmas holiday period, but they are sick and tired of being taken for granted.
“They deserve a pay rise to help manage the escalating cost of living, and they rightly demand job security.”
TSSA members work in roles including customer service managers, driver managers, trainers, control, customer communications, safety, timetabling and planning.
Managers are based at stations including Edinburgh, Newcastle, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Bournemouth and Plymouth.
Ms Rae continued: “The company, like all the train operators under the control of the Department for Transport, need to face up to the fact that only serious offers which meet our aspirations will end this dispute.
“Rail workers are seeking basic fair treatment: not to be sacked from their jobs; a fair pay rise in the face of a cost-of-living crisis; and no race to the bottom on terms and conditions.
“Make no mistake we will again see trains coming to a halt unless rail bosses and the Government do the right thing for our members and our precious rail network which so many people rely on.”
TSSA members at Great Western Railway will also strike from noon on Wednesday to 11.59am on Thursday, and at West Midlands Trains from noon on Wednesday to noon on Thursday.
For full information about strikes, see the National Rail update here.