16 August 2023
RMT Press Office:
Contracted out caterers will take 2 days of strike action from Thursday over poor pay, pensions and sick pay.
RMT members working for Rail Gourmet on TransPennine Express services get lower pay and poorer terms and conditions than colleagues directly employed by the train operator.
Rail Gourmet made £1.4 million in profit last year but has refused to make a decent offer.
There have been reports that TPE have been training up workers to break the strike, paying them a reported £25 an hour - far more than Rail Gourmet staff on TPE earn.
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “Greedy rail contractors have for too long exploited our members and Rail Gourmet is no exception.
“Despite making more than a million pounds in profit, Rail Gourmet are refusing to offer staff a decent pay rise, sick pay or a good pension.
“Rail Gourmet staff wear the same uniform and work just as hard as directly employed TransPennine Express workers.
“Yet they earn considerably less and will be left in poverty in retirement all because TPE contract out their catering services.
“TPE bosses have also taken the disgraceful decision to begin training scab labour at an hourly rate more than double what Rail Gourmet staff currently earn.
“RMT will not rest until we achieve a reasonable settlement on pay, pensions and sick pay. And our members are fully prepared to take further industrial action if necessary.”