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Heathrow Express hit by fresh strike action

Rail union RMT has confirmed a fourth wave of industrial action across Heathrow Express, in a long-running row over pay and working conditions.

The strikes will take place from midday on June 19 until midday on June 20, and again for 24 hours on June 22.

RMT claims Heathrow Express management “sabotaged” this week's (June 11) ACAS talks and has “resorted to issuing threats to sack hundreds of staff” if members don’t call off their strikes.

The union said the company is taking "an all-out assault on pay, jobs and safety”.

Heathrow Express has warned it cannot rule out job losses if the RMT presses ahead with further “wrong-headed” strike action.

The company issued the stark warning after fresh strike dates were issued by union group the RMT, which claims Heathrow Express’ management plans to cut 201 jobs, freeze staff pay, remove the Customer Service Representative Grade and create a new Grade in its place on “inferior pay”.

RMT acting general secretary Mick Cash said it put forward a viable framework for resolving the dispute, which “wasn’t even considered” by Heathrow Express.

“The planned axing of jobs, and the associated freezing and hacking back of pay and working conditions, is a kick in the teeth for the staff who have made Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect the success story that they are today,” said Cash.

“The staff have stood up and been counted and it is down to company to halt the cuts plans and start talking seriously about a safe and secure future for this vital London transport link.”

Heathrow Express’ managing director Keith Greenfield said: “Job losses were the one thing our proposals avoided - but the RMT’s wrong-headed path of repeated strikes has added to our costs, forcing us to now consider redundancies.

“From the outset we have warned the RMT that strikes are not the answer as they are increasing costs when we are trying to reduce them. They have ignored this advice."

Greenfield added: “The RMT leadership alone is responsible for putting its own members’ jobs at risk. We warned them. They ignored the warning. Now, entirely unnecessarily, their members’ futures are far less certain.”

Heathrow Express workers walked out for 24 hours on June 4 and for two 24-hour periods over the bank holiday weekend as part of the ongoing dispute.

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