Members of Britain’s biggest rail union, RMT working for the high speed passenger train service voted in favour of strike action yesterday by a convincing six to one.
The dispute over pay and conditions includes issues such as staff travel benefits, family-friendly policies and a nine-day fortnight.
Of 330 ballot papers sent out 204 were returned of which 176 voted in favour of strike action or 53% of those balloted, according to the RMT.
Around 160 other RMT members, working in the company’s customer-service department at Waterloo and Ashford, have already taken strike action claiming management has failed to negotiate a straight-forward ‘rate for the job’.
“The company has so far failed to make any move on all these outstanding issues, and this decisive vote underlines just how frustrated our members have become,” said RMT general secretary Bob Crow.
“If no progress is made by Friday, then the RMT executive will set strike dates, and we will be contacting our sister unions in France and Belgium to seek their support,” Crow said.
Paul Charles, Eurostar’s Director of Communications, responded: “We are disappointed by the outcome of this ballot but hope that talks due to be held with the RMT will be constructive. This is the second round of talks to discuss a way forward.”
No strike date has been announced.