RMT pickets were out at all key locations yesterday morning as the strike action over the threat to jobs, safety and services was solidly supported across First Great Western with widespread disruption.
Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said yesterday morning: ‘The action is being solidly supported across First Great Western and the union salutes the unity and determination of our members in this long-running dispute.
‘Although we have held many hours of talks with First Great Western we have not been able to make enough significant progress over the core issues at the heart of the dispute – drivers being forced to take over door and despatch functions which downgrades the safety-critical role of guards, removal of catering services and the threat to jobs among the train maintenance engineers.’
Meanwhile, Tube workers are set for two 24-hour strikes tomorrow and Thursday in defence of jobs, conditions and passenger safety over the introduction of the Night Tube and ticket office closures. The RMT has instructed all Station Grades not to book on for any shifts that commence between: 18:30 hours on Tuesday 25th August 2015 and 18:29 hours on Wednesday 26th August 2015, and between 18:30 hours on Thursday 27th August 2015 and 18:29 hours on Friday 28th August 2015.
The previous instruction not to work any overtime from 21:30 hours on Thursday 9th July 2015 until further notice also remains in place.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: ‘I urge you all to continue to stand firm together and support the action to defend your jobs and conditions of service. Talks with LUL are still taking place at ACAS and this extended industrial action must show management that it is now time for LUL to cease its decimation of your jobs and conditions to resolve this dispute once and for all.’
• Coinciding with the second 24-hour tube strike, staff working for City Cruises, one of the major players in transportation on the River Thames, will strike on Thursday 27th August between 07:00 hours and 20:00 hours in a fight for pay and workplace justice. That strike will be followed by further action on Friday 4th September and Saturday 5th September – again between 07:00 hours and 20.00 hours, the RMT has also confirmed.
The City Cruises services are often touted as an alternative to London Underground services during industrial action. The company runs services along the river from Greenwich to Westminster. Cash said: ‘The City Cruises workforce have shown through their 100% vote for action that they are determined to fight for workplace justice. All efforts through negotiations to get a sensible offer out of City Cruises have failed and the staff now have no option but to take strike action.’