3 December 2014
RMT Press Office
Staff employed by the Settle and Carlisle Railway Development Company - providing at-seat catering on Northern Rail services between Carlisle and Settle - are to take strike action a week on Saturday in a row over compulsory redundancies.
The strike will run from 00.01 hours on Saturday 13th December until 23.59 hours on Saturday 13th December 2014
The union described the redundancy announcement as a “kick in the teeth for hard-working and loyal staff” as RMT has a proud history being involved in the campaign to save the line and of supporting the development of the line and initiatives to see it grow. RMT has been extremely supportive of the trolley catering service because the union knows it enhances the passenger experience of the journey.
RMT says that there is no justification for the compulsory redundancy situation as the development company is doing well financially and its key objective as a "not for profit organisation" is to encourage sustainable commercial development.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“The last thing we expected on the historic Settle/Carlisle rail line was a compulsory redundancy situation - it seems the companies actions are at odds with their stated objectives leading them into a regrettable and wholly avoidable dispute with Britain's biggest rail union. This is a kick in the teeth for loyal and hard-working staff who have fought to save and develop this well-loved service.
“Astonishingly the company has sited potential rail franchise changes in 2016 as a reason for the compulsory redundancy now, when the specifications for the rail franchises are still nor known and the franchises themselves will not actually be let for some considerable time.
“Despite numerous requests to look at alternatives to compulsory redundancy the company has pressed ahead . In these circumstances RMT had no option but to ballot our members for a strike and that is why we are now taking action on Saturday 13th December. The union remains available for further talks.”