East Midlands Railway will be unable to operate any train services to or from any of its Lincolnshire locations at the start of next week – as trade unions continue their revolt over pay terms and job security.
Workers at East Midlands Railway will be going on strike for the second 48-hour walkout of the month so far, this time leaving their stations to join picket lines on Monday, October 17 and Tuesday, October 18.
Unite the Union has organised this latest industrial action, criticising an alleged £401 million net profit by parent organisation Abellio, and claiming the company has blamed the lack of what unionists deem a fair pay offer on the Department for Transport not authorising it.
As a result of this stall in negotiations, Unite has called for more action to bring railway services to a halt – though this time only EMR will be affected.
East Midlands Railway’s timetable shows that every station in Lincolnshire covered within EMR services will not be operating on the two days of strike action – leaving passengers in need of alternative travel on October 17 and 18.
EMR is asking customers across the country to only travel on these days if entirely necessary, with no services running east of Nottingham for the operator on the affected days.
Rail replacement bus services will not be provided where lines are closed, due to a lack of capacity in the EMR workforce to cover this.
Other train operators working through Lincolnshire, including London North Eastern Railway and Northern Trains, will be unaffected by this action and still be able to run services.
Will Rogers, Managing Director for East Midlands Railway, said: “As a result of strike action being taken by Unite the union, we will be operating a significantly reduced service next Monday and Tuesday.
“The impact of industrial action has specifically affected the operation of our train depots and reduces our ability to run our normal timetable.
“We are advising customers to plan ahead and only travel by rail if absolutely necessary on strike days. Customers are also strongly advised to check when the time of their last train is before setting off and understand how the strike action affects their whole journey.
“More detailed advice, including daily travel information, is available on our website.”
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Abellio is an extremely wealthy company making millions in profit. Clearly, it can easily afford to make our members a fair pay offer and it should do so without delay. It should not be passing the buck on its duty to pay our members properly.
“Unite does what it says on the trade union tin and always fights for the jobs, pay and conditions of its members. The workers at Abellio have the union’s total support.”
Another day, another strike
It is unclear what the future holds for rail strikers, given the announcement from Royal Mail on Friday that it would be making 6,000 workers redundant by August next year. The postal firm claims it is a direct result of financial struggles and ongoing industrial action.
As well as this, a ballot date of October 24 has been announced for ambulance workers across England to vote on whether they will also take strike action in protest of their pay and working conditions. It affects staff at East Midlands Ambulance Service and will close on November 29.