UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Eurostar - a highly effective strike which the media buried in snow‏

Last Friday Eurostar staff walk out on a 48 hour weekend strike after talks over pay collapsed. Intransigent management boasted that "Eurostar will operate normally over this weekend and the Christmas period. Threatened industrial action by one UK rail union will not affect Eurostar services". 70 members of train drivers' union Aslef took strike action over pay differentials in the company. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/6837897/Eurostar-staff-walk-out-on-weekend-strike-after-talks-collapse.html

In the subsequent media circus about soft snow and problematic train technology, the industrial action and its impact on the capacity of Eurostar to cope with the inclement weather has been conspicuously absent from media reports. Save for yesterday's Morning Star which reported on criticism by rail unions of Eurostar's management for causing a strike which left crucial staff absent on the day that thousands of passengers were trapped in the Channel Tunnel.

ASLEF general secretary Keith Norman said: "This just proves how ludicrous Eurostar's management has been in causing industrial action through their failure to negotiate. Our members could have managed the inconvenience and been at hand to give advice and keep passengers better updated. Instead, management have paid the price through their own lack of foresight, which left Eurostar understaffed at such a crucial time."