(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 30th Nov 2022) London, Uk – –
Security staff who work on the Eurostar train service are to strike for four days in the run-up to Christmas in a dispute over pay.
The walkouts are planned to take place on 16, 18, 22 and 23 December.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, employed by a private contractor, voted overwhelmingly in favour of the action.
Eurostar said it would update customers as soon as possible if there was any impact on services.
However, the union said the strike would “severely affect” passengers.
More than 100 security staff employed by facilities management company Mitie are due to walk out, following a 4-1 vote in favour of strike action.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said the security staff were “essential” to the running of Eurostar, and “it is disgraceful they are not being paid a decent wage”.
“They work long, unsocial hours and a multimillion-pound company like Mitie can easily afford to pay them decently for the essential work they do.”
However, Mitie said that on Tuesday it had offered staff a “significant” 10% pay increase, and that it was “disappointed” that RMT had decided to take strike action.
“As always, our priority is to ensure that exceptional services are delivered as normal so that passengers are able to continue their journeys with minimal disruption,” a Mitie spokesperson said.
A wave of strikes have hit the UK's railways in the past few months as workers demand better pay deals and try to stop job cuts and changes to working conditions.
More action is planned in the coming weeks.
The RMT has announced strikes at Network Rail and 14 train companies on 13-14 December, 16-17 December, 3-4 January and 6-7 January.
The train drivers' union Aslef has also staged walkouts in a dispute over pay, although no further strikes are planned at the moment.
Workers in other sectors of the economy have also either taken industrial action or planned it, in protest about working conditions, pensions and pay.
Royal Mail staff, members of the University and College Union and airline ground handlers are among those who have already been on strike, while nurses and paramedics are planning walkouts in the future.
The industrial action has been prompted by soaring prices – inflation is running at more than 11% a year – meaning workers are being squeezed as living costs rise faster than wages.
Many workers are now calling for pay increases in line with the higher cost of living.
Energy and food prices have been rising since last year because of the war in Ukraine and the impact of the Covid pandemic.
By Karen Hoggan