Virgin Trains East Coast staff to hold strike ballot

Virgin train at York station Image copyright Geof Sheppard
Image caption The result of the ballot for industrial action is expected by 9 August

A union is to ballot its members over industrial action in a row with Virgin Trains East Coast over possible job losses.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will start voting next week.

It has accused the company of trying to "bulldoze through" cost-cutting measures which would "decimate" jobs.

Virgin Trains said it was "puzzled" at the union's ballot.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "RMT is aware that Virgin management are putting out regular propaganda messages to their employees to justify the company's attempts to attack job security, terms and conditions of employment and current working practices."

'Well prepared'

Earlier another union, the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA), had also warned of industrial action.

The TSSA said the company was planning to axe up to 46 jobs at travel centres and train stations along the East Coast Main Line route.

In a statement, Virgin Trains East Coast said the changes were "aimed at making the customer experience the best it can be".

The firm added: "We are puzzled by the RMT's decision to ballot as we have ruled out compulsory redundancies.

"A strike would also cost our people pay for no reason, and we have well prepared contingency plans which mean we expect to run a full timetable with customers travelling as normal.

"We would welcome the RMT reopening discussions at any point."

The result of the RMT vote is expected by 9 August.

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