October 21, 2016

Eurostar rail workers to strike for 7 days – UK rail union RMT

Eurostar train at St Pancras International Station in London

Rail workers on Eurostar trains linking Britain to continental Europe via the Channel Tunnel will strike for a total of seven days in August because of a long-running dispute over work-life balance, Britain’s RMT rail union said on Wednesday.

The RMT said the strike action would take place in two blocks over two weekends, from 2301 GMT on Aug. 12 to 2259 GMT on Aug. 15, and from 2301 GMT on Aug. 27 to 2259 GMT on Aug. 29.

The union said the dispute with management centred on what it called Eurostar’s failure to honour an agreement from 2008 which sought to ensure that train managers could expect a good work-life balance in terms of unsocial hours and duty rosters.

“Our train manager members at Eurostar have a heavy commitment to shift work and unsocial hours and are sick and tired of the company’s failure to honour agreements,” said RMT General Secretary Mick Cash in a statement.

“Our members have every right to have a fair work-life balance that fulfils the operational needs of the company while guaranteeing quality time off for friends and family.”

The statement said RMT members voted 95 percent in favour of strike action.

Eurostar, which is majority-owned by the French state rail operator SNCF, could not immediately be reached for comment.

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