Crossrail row: Workers balloted for strikes by RMT in pay dispute

Rebecca Smith
Crossrail is due to be fully open by Deccember 2019
Crossrail is due to be fully open by Deccember 2019 (Source: Getty)

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union announced today that it will ballot a group of staff for industrial action on Crossrail over a pay dispute.

The RMT said works train controller members working for VGC based at Plumstead Depot had recently submitted a collective grievance and held discussions with management regarding their rate of pay, which the union said is approximately half that of other grades.

Read more: Crossrail construction: The 19 best pictures of the Elizabeth Line

The RMT said that because of the firm's refusal to resolve the issue, a row has erupted, with the union starting a ballot for industrial action of around 30 controllers.

Mick Cash, RMT's general secretary, said: "RMT members working for VGC out of Plumstead on the Crossrail project are standing up for fairness and workplace justice and the union is backing them to the hilt.

"RMT will not tolerate a situation where members working on the prestigious and expensive Crossrail operation are getting a raw deal on pay compared to other grades.

“The union remains available for talks.”

A Crossrail spokesperson said: “This is a dispute between RMT and VGC, a sub-contractor engaged by Alstom, TSO, Costain Joint Venture at Plumstead depot in southeast London. The individuals concerned are employed by VGC not Crossrail Limited and are not directly involved in the construction of the Elizabeth Line.”

VGC has been approached for comment.

The £14.8bn rail project is due to be fully open by December 2019, when it will be known as the Elizabeth Line.

The first new Elizabeth Line train entered passenger service between Liverpool Street and Shenfield in June, and while the rollout of new trains has been slower than originally anticipated, Crossrail remains on track to hit his key milestones.

The next step will see TfL Rail taking over the Heathrow to Paddington service in May 2018.

Read more: Crossrail latest: Elizabeth Line train rollout stalls

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