Eurostar strikes are "last resort" for staff at the end of their tether, says shadow transport minister

'This is the last resort for staff', says shadow transport secretary on rail strikes

Industrial action could cause misery for families over the coming weeks

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The shadow secretary of state for transport, Andy McDonald, has told talkRADIO that strike action by train crew at Eurostar, Virgin East Coast and Southern Rail is a "last resort" for staff and is "absolutely critical" to ensuring continued safety and security. 

The RMT and TSSA unions provoked outrage yesterday (Wednesday) with an announcement that there will be seven days of industrial action on Eurostar in the month of August, potentially affecting tens of thousands of families travelling during the school holidays. 

They claim bosses have failed to honour an agreement from 2008 over staff conditions, including unsociable hours.   

The RMT have also announced strikes of the Virgin East Coast line, while five days of industrial action on Southern Rail have been suspended today for further talks. 

“This issue of safety and security on trains is absolutely critical – there’s much more to it than just who opens train doors," McDonald told Sam Delaney.

"It’s about having trained staff, with security competencies.

"There are huge issues about vulnerable people, and of course as we all know, very significant high security risks at the moment. This is not the time to be lowering our watchful guard.

"[Eurostar has had] a long running issue since 2008, they’ve promised to address unsociable hours and never, ever get to it. I think people have just reached the end of their tether.

"For people to go on strike and lose precious money, that is the last resort for them."

Listen to the full interview to find out more