Heathrow Express workers to stage strike action over job losses

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New strikes to hit Heathrow Express
New strikes to hit Heathrow Express

Workers on the Heathrow Express rail service are to stage a fresh strike in a row over cuts.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union will walk out for 24 hours from 3am on June 4 following two previous stoppages, claiming that planned multi million pound spending cuts threatened pay, jobs and safety. Words and photo: PA.

The union said plans to save £6 million over the next five years would threaten 200 job losses.

The company said it ran services on the link between Heathrow airport and London during the previous strikes, although the Heathrow Connect service was halted.

RMT acting general secretary Mick Cash said: "Despite the bogus claims from the company the fact is that the previous two phases of strike action were solidly supported by the staff and the service was reduced down to a skeleton operated by scab managers, with limited training, while Heathrow Connect was closed entirely.

"Using the genuine safety concerns of the staff as a backdrop for a cheap publicity shot speaks volumes about the shabby attitude of the top Heathrow Express bosses.

"Instead of cooking up phoney passenger numbers and ghost-train timetables the management should be round the table addressing the fundamental issues of jobs, pay and safety at the heart of this dispute. It is outrageous that the company are refusing point blank to address the issues that we have raised with them.

"The Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect services are dealing with growing demand as the airport expands and the idea that safety and service is going to be sacrificed at the stroke of an accountant's pen would shame London and leave these high-profile services extremely vulnerable.

"The planned axing of jobs, and the associated freezing and hacking back of pay and working conditions, is a kick in the teeth for the staff who have made Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect the success story that they are today."Keith Greenfield, managing director of Heathrow Express, said: "We have asked the RMT to suspend their action to allow constructive talks at Acas but instead the union's leadership has decided to strike yet again - despite our making clear repeatedly that strikes are self-defeating, leading ultimately to a worse outcome, not a better one, for their members.

"That is because each strike adds to the £6 million of cost Heathrow Express needs to save over the next five years in order to secure our future and jobs for our people.

"We have proved three times now we can run a good service for our customers with just one third of our workforce available. Next Wednesday we will do it again."