Rail workers for First Great Western will hold two strikes over the August bank holiday weekend, as part of a growing row over new trains.
All RMT members except fleet maintenance grades have been told not to work for 24 hours from one minute past midnight on Sunday 23rd August and again on from midnight Saturday 29th August until 11:59pm on Monday 31st.
Fleet maintenance grades will not work on 29th and 31st August. They have also been told to take “discontinuous industrial action short of a strike” - effectively a ban on overtime - on 23rd and 30th August.
“The action follows a rock solid 48 hour strike last month which led to widespread disruption to services,” said RMT.
The dispute centres around the introduction of new Hitachi intercity trains, which will transfer door operations from the guard to the driver. RMT says this is “a clear dilution of the important role of the guard and the crucial role of safety critical platform staff for safe incoming and departure of tranis at stations, and is contrary to RMT policy.”
The union is also concerned about proposals to ditch the buffet facilities, and claims there has been a lack of assurances over Tupe and job protection on engineering grades.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Despite strenuous efforts by our negotiators we have not been able to secure the kind of progress required in the key areas of jobs, services and safety for us to reach an agreement. As a result we have no option but to put further action on.
“The fact remains that if it is good enough for East Coast, using the same trains, to meet the very basic assurances sought by this trade union then it is good enough for First Great Western as well.
“We congratulate our members for their rock solid support for the strike action last month and we know that they remain united and determined as we continue with our campaign on these crucial issues. RMT remains available for talks.”