A rail union has cancelled its planned industrial action next month out of respect for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Day.
Thousands of members of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) were due to strike in Network Rail, Avanti West Coast and South Western Railway on 3 November. TSSA members in Greater Anglia and Great Western Railway were also due to take action short of a strike on the same day.
The TSSA is seeking a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies, a pay rise which meets the cost-of-living crisis and no unagreed changes to terms and conditions.
When will TSSA members strike in November?
TSSA interim general secretary Frank Ward said the planned action on Remembrance Day (3 November) has been called off, but confirmed that strikes will still go ahead on a later date.
Mr Ward said industrial action will now take place on 4 to 8 November instead, with “action short of a strike” also taking place throughout next month in some rail companies.
He said: “Once we became aware of Poppy Day and the impact our industrial action could have on Royal British Legion’s fundraising, we took the decision to call off our action.
“However, we will still be taking industrial action on dates from November 4 to 8, with action short of a strike taking place throughout November in some rail companies.
“Our members do not take industrial action lightly. This dispute could be resolved speedily if Mark Harper (new Transport Secretary) can avoid the mistakes of Grant Shapps and use his powers to mandate a fair pay rise, reasonable terms and conditions and no compulsory redundancies.
“The Tories have played politics with Britain’s railways, preventing Department for Transport companies from negotiating with the unions and the result has been a deeply unhappy workforce and misery for commuters. It’s high time the train operators got round the table with us and negotiated a fair solution.”
TSSA members involved in the action include staff working in ticket offices, stations, control rooms and other support roles across Britain.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport union has also rearranged a strike planned for 3 November.
What other strike action is happening in November?
More strikes are expected across the UK over the coming weeks amid continuing industrial disputes over pay, jobs and conditions.
Strikes or ballots for industrial action have become a regular occurrence as workers across the country join the growing campaign for pay rises to match soaring inflation during the cost-of-living crisis.
The new “winter of discontent” comes amid worsening industrial relations and accusations by union officials that the government is doing little or nothing to help workers struggling with mounting bills.
Teachers and hospital staff are among those being balloted on industrial action, while barristers called off an indefinite strike after accepting a government pay rise of 15% on legal aid fees for most crown cases.
As well as the TSSA strike next month, the following industrial action will also take place in November:
- 2 November - A strike ballot of Royal College of Nursing members closes
- 10 November - Strike ballots of Unison members at the Environment Agency and members of the National Association of Headteachers will close
- 11 November - A strike ballot of Royal College of Midwives members opens
A strike ballot over a pay dispute will be held among GMB union members at East Midlands Ambulance Service and West Midlands Ambulance Service, but a date is yet to be confirmed.