Virgin Trains East Coast strike 'solid' says RMT

Virgin East Coast train Image copyright PA
Image caption Virgin Trains East Coast runs services between London, the North East and Scotland

A strike by workers on Virgin Trains East Coast has been well-supported, the RMT union has said.

Virgin said it was running a full timetable, with some minor changes. Three services have had their route altered because of a shortage of crew.

The RMT accused the company of mounting "the biggest scabbing operation in recent rail history".

It said managers had been "dragged in from across the country" to staff services.

Virgin, which operates services between London, north-east England and Scotland, said it was making changes to customer-facing roles which would "see a single person take responsibility for the customer experience on our trains".

"This will have no impact on safety, and will result in a better experience for customers," it said.

The RMT said around 200 jobs were threatened, and that trains would become less safe.

The union said 1,800 members were taking part in the strike.

'Commandeer our trains'

The general secretary Mick Cash said: "RMT members are solid and united in support of the action in defence of jobs and safety on Virgin East Coast this morning and the trade union movement salutes them. Pickets are out at all key locations.

"It is clear that Virgin and Stagecoach have mounted the biggest and most expensive scabbing operation in recent rail history with managers from across the country dragged in to commandeer our trains.

"If the company had put half the effort into resolving this dispute that they have piled into their scabbing plans we could have sorted the core issues that led to this strike.

"The union will be taking ‎part in further talks later this week."

RMT members have been instructed not to work any shifts between 00:01 and 23:59 BST on Monday.

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