Conductors who work for the Southern franchise have voted to take strike action over what the RMT union is calling a “comprehensive breakdown” in industrial relations.
The RMT union has announced that, by 185 to 70, the conductors have backed strike action over a number of issues including rosters and staffing levels.
The union will need to give seven days’ notice before any strike action can taken.
In a separate dispute, the RMT has announced that its staff on the Serco-operated Caledonian Sleeper had voted nine-one in favour of industrial action, including the possibility of a strike. According to RMT despite negotiations over several months no progress had been made ‘on the raft of issues in the dispute which left RMT with no choice other than to proceed to ballot members over the company's failure to address the number of defects contained within the rolling stock.’
Serco took on the franchise for the sleeper service from First Group on 31 March 2015 and, according to Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, ‘Our members have been unhappy with Serco's management of the iconic service from Scotland to London since the very early days of them taking on this fifteen year franchise. This is yet another example of Serco winning public sector contracts and failing to deliver for the tax payer, passengers and staff.’
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