Workers on cross-Channel Eurostar trains to strike for seven days | News | DW | 10.08.2016
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Workers on cross-Channel Eurostar trains to strike for seven days

Rail workers at Eurostar are to strike this month amid a dispute over work-life balance, says Britain's Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union. The Eurostar trains link Britain with continental Europe.

Rail workers will strike for a total of seven days in August in protest at Eurostar's alleged failure to implement measures that enable train managers to strike a good balance between family life and work, Britain's RMT union said on Wednesday.

The union said the company, majority-owned by the French state rail operator SNCF, had failed to honor an agreement from 2008.

"Our train manager members at Eurostar have a heavy commitment to shift work and unsocial hours and are sick and tired of the company's failure to honor agreements," RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said in a statement.

"Our members have every right to have a fair work-life balance that fulfills the operational needs of the company while guaranteeing quality time off for friends and family," the statement said, adding that 95 percent of members had voted in favor of the strike action.

The union said strike action would take place over two weekends from 23:01 UTC on August 12 to 22:59 UTC on August 15, and from 23:01 UTC on August 27 to 22:59 UTC on August 29.

The latter weekend comprises a public holiday in Britain.

'Small timetable changes'

A spokesman for Eurostar said the company was aware of the strike plans and was focused on "seeking a joint resolution whilst planning to provide a good service for our customers."

"On the days of the strike we have made some small changes to our timetable to ensure that all passengers booked to travel will be able to on those days," he said.

The RMT union is also currently involved in strike action in southeast England, where rail workers on Monday began what is planned to be a five-day walkout on Southern Trains.

Workers are protesting over plans by company owner Govia Thameslink Railway to remove conductors from some trains. Trains run by Southern currently require not only a driver, but also a conductor who ensures doors are properly shut at each station.

tj/kl (Reuters, AFP)

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