Strikes Planned For Ely Rail Network As Union Vote For Action

PUBLISHED: 09:26 24 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:49 04 May 2010

strikes planned

strikes planned

STRIKES are planned on Ely s rail network as union members voted for action. First Capital Connect, which runs the King s Lynn to King s Cross commuter line, plans to cut 800 working hours a week at more than 40 ticket offices, and union members at Natio

STRIKES are planned on Ely's rail network as union members voted for action.

First Capital Connect, which runs the King's Lynn to King's Cross commuter line, plans to cut 800 working hours a week at more than 40 ticket offices, and union members at National Express East Anglia, which runs services to Norwich, Peterborough and London Liverpool Street, say 300 jobs are under threat.

Strikes were supported by three to one at First Capital Connect after nearly 800 members voted. Workers for National Express East Anglia backed strike action by two to one.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport Union, said its members had "struck a blow against selfish employers who are seeking to slash jobs solely to maintain profits and dividends."

"The scale of job cuts planned by operators across the railways threatens to undermine services, safety and the very fabric of an industry that is crucial to our economy and environment and it is vital they are stopped," he added.

The RMT has yet to name a date for strike action and is deciding its next move.

A co-ordinated strike across both lines has not yet been ruled out.

A spokesperson for First Capital Connect said: "First Capital Connect is disappointed that members of the RMT have decided to vote for a strike following our proposal to change ticket office opening hours.

Our proposals do not see any compulsory redundancies to the 13 roles affected and see ticket offices remaining open at peak hours of ticket sales, subject to Department for Transport approval.

"A strike is completely unwarranted. Our customers will certainly not welcome industrial action by the RMT - which will have the potential to create completely unnecessary disruption to their journeys.

"The result of the ballot was as follows: Out of the 756 members balloted, 425 did not vote. 245 voted Yes while 86 voted no. This means that of the total 756 RMT members within FCC, just 32% voted for the strike.

"We have worked on plans to ensure that any disruption to customers will be kept to a minimum. The RMT is one of four unions recognised by First Capital Connect which means that the majority of our staff will be available for work during the strike period.

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