Could Norwich be facing a summer of strikes?

A Greater Anglia train at Norwich on the main line service to London Liverpool Street. Photo: Bill S

A Greater Anglia train at Norwich on the main line service to London Liverpool Street. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

A successful ballot ran by RMT – a railway union - could mean summer railway strikes across the country.  

The ballot comes as railway staff demand a pay rise.  

A railway worker told this paper that they had not had a pay rise since 2019.  

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director said: “We are working on a number of contingency options with the aim of providing our customers with the best possible service depending on the circumstances. 

“We will keep passengers updated about what they can expect during any industrial action - should it go ahead - so that they can plan their journeys.” 

This was backed up by the Chairman of Rail Delivery, Steve Montgomery who said: “Our railways must adapt to attract more passengers back and reduce our running costs.  

“It is not fair to ask taxpayers to continue to shoulder the burden when there are other vital services that need public support."   

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He also said all train operators want to offer their staff a pay rise and are working hard to make that happen.  

RMT – The Railway Union referred to this ballot as the biggest endorsement for industrial action by railway workers since privatisation. 

The union will now be demanding urgent talks with Network Rail and the 15 train operating companies that were balloted to find a negotiated settlement to the dispute over pay, jobs and safety. 
 
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch: "Today's overwhelming endorsement by railway workers is a vindication of the union's approach and sends a clear message that members want a decent pay rise, job security and no compulsory redundancies.” 

Jack Stalley uses the train service into Norwich on average six times a week

Jack Stalley uses the train service into Norwich on average six times a week. He agrees with the strikes and thinks the friendly staff are worth more money. - Credit: Jack Stalley

Jack Stalley, 30, uses the train service to commute into Norwich from Lowestoft on average six times a week.  

The virtual receptionist supports strike action. He said: “The strikes would not have an impact on me.  

“The staff want more money. I can understand they need that, so I can’t be mad about a strike.  

“I will just work from home during the strikes."  

Jack said he thinks it is important to have staff on the trains that are happy in their work.  

“Having someone say good morning to you can change your entire day. Why would you want to rob someone of their chance of a better morning? If you take away a friendly face then why would we travel anymore?”