EUROSTAR WORK/LIFE BALANCE STRIKES SUSPENDED TO ALLOW FOR FURTHER TALKS
Strikes by Eurostar workers at the RMT and TSSA unions have been suspended to allow further talks, they have said. The unions had been due to hold four separate strikes over August, in a dispute about work-life balance.
The RMT said the strike halt was to allow “further, detailed negotiations after some progress in talks”.
And the TSSA says it “has reached an agreement in principal” about work rosters at the centre of its dispute.
Although the RMT says it will now hold “further, detailed negotiations” with Eurostar, it maintains that the current dispute remains “live at this time”.
Members of RMT had been due to go on strike over this weekend, and during the bank holiday weekend. Eurostar runs services between London and mainland Europe.
TSSA staff had planned to strike on 14 and 15 August, and 28 and 29 August, but it has suspended strike action “following an agreement to review work rosters at St Pancras Station”.
“Following talks this morning, we have reached an agreement in principal that we believe will secure a better work-life balance for our members and we are now suspending the industrial action with immediate effect,” said Manuel Cortes, TSSA general secretary.
He said he was confident Eurostar would deliver on an agreement which contains an ongoing review of current rosters. The union says it hopes to see new rosters in December which will guarantee “balanced workloads, balanced shift and weekend working and balanced destinations”.
“It is now time for the company to deliver because this has been a long running problem for our members,” Mr Cortes added.
Eurostar had made some modifications to its weekend timetable to ensure all passengers would “be able to travel”, with eight services cancelled. Eurostar said this represented just 4% of its services between Friday and Monday.
Two scheduled trains did not run on Friday. Services on Saturday had been set run as planned, and four services have been cancelled on Sunday and two on Monday.
Eurostar confirmed to the BBC that the cancelled services on Sunday and Monday would not be reinstated, as passengers had all now been fitted onto alternate services.