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Virgin West Coast staff vote for industrial action

Virgin West Coast staff have voted for industrial action

Rail union RMT has announced its members on Virgin West Coast services have voted by more than nine to one to take strike action in a dispute over pay.

The union says train managers, on-board catering, station, clerical and retail members with the company voted for either a strike or industrial action short of a strike on the Euston-Glasgow route.

The dispute comes after Virgin West Coast struck a deal with drivers to buy out their claim for a one-hour reduction in the base working week without loss of pay in exchange for an additional £500 on their basic salary. RMT says the industrial action is about “workplace equality” and justice, demanding the rail firm reach a similar agreement with its members.

“All our members are demanding is a suitable and equal offer to that given to drivers to buy out their claim for a reduction in the base working week,” RMT general secretary Mick Cash said. “We have made it clear to the company that the inequality and underhanded approach of Virgin will be fought tooth and nail. We will not accept our members being dealt with less favourably than others.”

A spokesman for Virgin Trains said the company believes it can run the majority of services during any industrial action. “We have offered a 3.2 per cent annual pay increase at a time when the average increase across public and private sector employees is around 2 per cent. We remain open to continuing talks with the RMT.”

A date for action has yet to be determined. RMT’s executive will now make a decision on what to do next.

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