THE TSSA union warned yesterday: ‘A national rail strike in 2022 is very much on the cards’ as the Tory government seeks to cut jobs across the railways and workers face a deepening cost of living crisis.
The rail and transport union wants rail bosses to extend the no compulsory redundancy agreement to safeguard employment for those wishing to stay in the rail industry as the twin threats of compulsory redundancies and falling living standards loom large.
TSSA leader Manuel Cortes said: ‘Rail workers deserve job certainty, and we will fight to protect that, including balloting for action where necessary.
‘Our union has been crystal clear that any threat to use compulsory redundancies will be met with industrial action ballots.
‘We wrote to rail bosses in November 2021 seeking assurances that the industry-wide no compulsory redundancy policy would continue to remain in place throughout 2022.
‘Sadly, a new year has arrived and we are still waiting for the bosses to meet our union’s job security ask.
‘We have been told that although thousands of people will be leaving employment within our rail industry during 2022 through voluntary severance, that this won’t be enough to deliver the £2 billion worth of cuts the Tory government is seeking.
‘Make no mistake, trains will be coming to a halt if any of our members are pushed out of our rail industry against their will.
‘And of course, we now have energy bills spiralling out of control and Retail Price Index inflation of over 7% which means that our union will seek a wage increase for our members which at the very least matches the price hikes that they are having to pay in their bills and their shopping basket. Nothing else will do.
‘Frankly, our members are not just facing a cost-of-living crisis but also one of fractured industrial relations on our railways as the twin threats of compulsory redundancies and falling living standards loom large.
‘We will of course seek to coordinate any industrial action with our sister rail unions and any other workers fighting the Tories’ cost of living standards crisis and other attacks which Johnson and his cohorts unleash.
‘A national rail strike in 2022 is very much on the cards.’