Penzance strikers demand reinstatement

by New Worker correspondent

STRIKING rail workers and their supporters picketed Penzance station over the Easter holiday, demanding the reinstatement of a dismissed colleague. RMT station staff walked out for 48 hours in support of a member sacked by First Great Western (FGW) for allegedly allowing the doors of a train to remain open while in passenger service, and failing to report the incident to anyone for over a month. But the union says their member was fitted up and victimised by management.

RMT Regional Organiser Phil Bialyk said his members were: “Steadfast in their support believing the company could have taken a different stance... the company refuse to listen and will not back down. RMT members, their staff, are unhappy at how the company uses the procedures to rule by fear; it’s not good to have such a working environment. RMT will always support its members in this way.”

RMT general secretary, Mick Cash, said: “FGW’s refusal to enter into meaningful talks has left us with no option but to press on with a second wave of strike action over the Easter weekend.

“It is clear that there is a culture of bullying and intimidation of staff in the money-spinning operation that is First Great Western.

“RMT will not allow this culture to go unchallenged and the union will defend our individual members and the principle of workplace justice. The union remains available for talks in this dispute.”