England

Eurostar train managers get strike ballot over lone working

Eurostar train Image copyright Gareth Fuller/PA
Image caption The RMT union said it had serious concerns over the safety implications of working alone

Eurostar train managers are to be balloted for strikes in a row over lone working and the alleged victimisation of a member of staff.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said it was in dispute over the company's decision to charge an RMT activist with gross misconduct.

The woman objected to an instruction to crew a service which would have seen her work a section of the route alone.

Eurostar said it was in discussion with the union and hoped to find a solution.

The ballot, for both strike action and action short of a strike, will open on Tuesday and close on 15 March.

'Unacceptable decision'

The union said it had "repeatedly made it clear" that it had serious concerns over the safety implications of train managers working alone.

"Furthermore, the RMT believes that our member was acting in accordance with a long standing RMT policy by refusing to work a train alone," it added.

General secretary Mick Cash said: "The outrageous decision taken by Eurostar management to discipline our member in this manner is totally unacceptable.

"The risks of asking a member of staff to work alone are obvious to everyone, and the fact that there is currently a heightened level of security alert on these international services only reinforces the union's case."

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