More rail disruption looms

Staff on Govia Thameslink Railway are set to join any future national rail strikes, the RMT has warned.

In last month’s rail strike GTR staff did not take part in the walkouts, because a strike ballot had not supported action.

However, staff have now voted in a second ballot in favour of joining future strikes.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: ’Our members were denied their democratic right to strike due to draconian ballot thresholds but having smashed through those at the second time of asking, they are raring to join our campaign.

‘GTR staff are now able to join our fight and have a legal mandate to take action in the future, to get a negotiated settlement on pay, job security and working conditions.

’We will continue our negotiations next week with Network Rail and the train operating companies with a view to getting a deal that meets our members a just deal.

‘We cannot rule out further strikes and we are focused on winning this dispute and coming to an agreement with rail bosses that gives our members what they need.’

Mr Lynch also welcomed the ballots now being held by ASLEFand TSSA. If the ASLEF ballot produces a vote in favour it would be the first time train drivers have held a national strike since 1995.

Meanwhile, TransPennine Express services are expected to be disrupted tomorrow and on Sunday, because of what TPE described as ‘ continued increased levels of staff sickness’.

More cancellations are also expected on Great Anglia when ASLEF drivers are due to stage a third one-day strike on 23 July. If the strike goes ahead, Greater Anglia warned there would be ‘widespread disruption’. During the last drivers’ strike on 2 July, more than nine out of 10 GA services were cancelled.