Commuters to face 24-hour train strike hell

RAIL users brace yourselves – for a 24-hour strike is set to come to a station near you. Amid fears of job cuts, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) had balloted members in both First Capital Connect (FCC) and National Expres

RAIL users brace yourselves - for a 24-hour strike is set to come to a station near you.

Amid fears of job cuts, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) had balloted members in both First Capital Connect (FCC) and National Express East Anglia over industrial action.

And last week it announced its members had voted "overwhelmingly" in favour of strike action - which will take place on Monday.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "Our members at National Express East Anglia and FCC have struck a blow against selfish employers who are seeking to slash jobs solely in order to maintain profits and dividends.


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"Both can avoid strike action if they shelve these unnecessary job cuts, guarantee that there will be no forced job losses and talk to us positively about the future."

The ballot had been organised after FCC announced plans to cut booking office opening hours at a number of its stations, including Knebworth, Brookmans Park, Welwyn North and Cuffley.

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Following pressure from politicians, travel watchdogs and commuter groups, the company amended its proposals but still appear to be unsatisfactory to the RMT.

A spokesman for FCC described the strike action as "completely unwarranted".

"Our customers will certainly not welcome industrial action, which will have the potential to create unnecessary disruption to their journeys," he said.

"Our proposals do not see any compulsory redundancies to the 13 roles affected and see ticket offices remaining open at peak hours of ticket sales."

He added: "We have worked on plans to ensure any disruption to customers will be kept to an absolute minimum.

"The RMT is one of four unions recognised by FCC which means the majority of our staff will be available for work during the strike period.

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