West rail staff to be balloted over industrial action
Workers at First Great Western are to be balloted for industrial action over a number of issues, including the use of agency staff and claims of a high number of unfair dismissals.
Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport union at FGW will vote in the coming weeks on whether to launch a campaign of industrial action.
The union claimed there had been a breakdown of industrial relations at the company, which has just been given an extension to its contract.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “RMT members have had enough of being kicked from pillar to post and management should be under no illusion that unless a satisfactory agreement is reached on all of these issues, the union will continue with a campaign of industrial and political action until such time as the collapse in industrial relations is resolved.
“With First securing a highly lucrative extension to their Great Western contract last week there is no excuse for them to blame the failure to reach agreement on the uncertainty over the franchise. It is also clear as day that they have the money available now to employ adequate numbers of permanent staff and to treat them with dignity and respect in every workplace.”
The union said around 2,500 of its members will be balloted, including drivers, guards and station staff.
The firm runs services between London, South Wales and other parts of southern England.