Voice of the Employee

Eurostar rail workers are to take seven days of strike action this month in a dispute over their work-life balance, the RMT union says.

Staff will walk out from 00:01 BST on 12 August until 23.59 BST on 15 August, and for three days over the UK Bank Holiday weekend from 27 August.

The union says the dispute is over unsocial hours and duty rosters for about 80 train managers.

Eurostar said all passengers with reservations will be able to travel.

A spokesman said: “On the days of the strike we have made some small changes to our timetable to ensure that all passengers booked to travel will be able to on those days. Passengers affected will be notified in advance.”

The company added it has been planning for possible strike action and is still in discussions with the RMT over the dispute.

Eurostar runs trains between London and mainland Europe and the first planned walk out coincides with the Assumption Day bank holiday in France and Belgium on 15 August.

The RMT says Eurostar has failed to honour an agreement from 2008 over conditions for their staff.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Our train manager members at Eurostar have a heavy commitment to shift work and unsocial hours and are sick and tired of the company’s failure to honour agreements.

“Our members have every right to have a fair work-life balance that fulfils the operational needs of the company while guaranteeing quality time off for friends and family.

“It’s now time for Eurostar to come to the negotiating table with a set of proposals that honours our agreements and guarantees our members a genuine work-life balance.”

The RMT announcement comes amid strikes by its members on Southern and Virgin Trains East Coast.

Southern Rail staff are in the midst a five-day strike over the role of conductors, while the RMT announced on Tuesday that its members on the Virgin East Coast line voted to walk out in a dispute over staffing changes.

The RMT says the action on Southern Railway workers will be suspended on Thursday and Friday if the company agrees to urgent talks without pre-conditions.

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