Rail strikes set to cause chaos

COMMUTERS across East Anglia are bracing themselves for “chaos and misery” after rail workers announced two 24-hour strikes.More than 800 members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) for train operator One are set to walk out on September 15 and 17 in support of a sacked guard.

COMMUTERS across East Anglia are bracing themselves for “chaos and misery” after rail workers announced two 24-hour strikes.

More than 800 members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) for train operator One are set to walk out on September 15 and 17 in support of a sacked guard. Ticket offices will also refuse to issue advance sales for two days before the strikes are held.

RMT staff on the entire One network were balloted for industrial action after a first wave of strikes last month saw more than 100 network staff make a stand.

The workers are acting in support for guard Paul Yarwood who lost his job following disciplinary action concerning an incident with a fare dodger at Colchester's North Station in June. Court proceedings concerning the case are still ongoing.

The RMT has announced its members on the One network, which covers Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk, would hold two 24-hour strikes.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said members had shown their “solidarity” with Mr Yarwood and their disgust at the company's attitude to their safety.

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A spokesman for One said it was “extremely disappointed” that the RMT was proceeding with industrial action and remained keen to talk with the union to avert it.

He said: “The safety and security of passengers, the public and our employees remains our first priority.

“We believe we have comprehensively and satisfactorily responded to the concerns raised by the union on safety and security and that industrial action is unnecessary.

The Norwich to London intercity service is expected to be affected but efforts will be made to operate an hourly service along with extra peak-time trains.

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