Thameslink staff to strike next month

Thameslink train

Thameslink train - Credit: Archant

Disruption to train services on a major train line in St Albans is to be expected next month as staff go on strike.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) have confirmed a 24-hour strike action by station staff members on Govia Thameslink Railways (GTR), on Wednesday September 7.

This comes after GTR proposed a reorganisation of station staff, which RMT believe poses a threat to jobs, pay and safety.

Their original proposal was to bring staff out from behind the ticket offices and onto the station concourse as station hosts to assist people travelling.

However, GTR stated that this plan was taken off the table during discussions with RMT and the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA).

According to Govia, new plans were agreed that will involve a six-month trial at eight stations using volunteer staff to test the new station host role.

Despite the changes to the proposals, 70 per cent of station staff voted in a ballot to bring on strike action.

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Alex Foulds, GTR’s passenger’s services director, said: “It was a very productive meeting and the RMT officials present were content to put the revised pilot proposal forward to the RMT leadership for endorsement.

“We are therefore perplexed that they have decided to call this strike day in protest at proposals that no longer exist and when a solution has been found.”

He added that there was “no longer any justification” for strike action.

Mick Cash, general secretary for RMT, commented: “The Govia Thameslink franchise is in meltdown and not fit for purpose.

“They now want to threaten 130 station jobs and compromise the safety of both their passengers and staff alike.”

“It is about time Govia Thameslink started acting responsibly, halted their cuts plans and got round the table with the union in serious and genuine talks.”

Govia does not currently know what the impact will be on their services. Thameslink trains at St Albans City Station are likely to be affected.