East Coast trains staff to strike on Good Friday

Rail worker Mark Doughty, who was sacked by East Coast Trains for telling customers they could not get a full cooked breakfast because of broken facilities and staff shortages. Picture: Greg Macvean
Rail worker Mark Doughty, who was sacked by East Coast Trains for telling customers they could not get a full cooked breakfast because of broken facilities and staff shortages. Picture: Greg Macvean
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TRAIN staff at Virgin Trains East Coast in Edinburgh will stage a one-day strike on Good Friday in protest at the sacking of catering worker Mark Doughty, the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union announced today.

The union member is reported to have told passengers they could not get a full cooked breakfast because of a broken boiler and staff shortages.

However, The Scotsman understands there were other disciplinary issues involved with his dismissal.

In a letter to union members today, general secretary Mick Cash said: “There are numerous reports of how the disciplinary procedure has and continues to be misused by management.

“Having considered the views of your senior union representatives, and in order to achieve justice for our dismissed member, your general grades committee feel that industrial action is necessary to force management to see sense and reinstate Brother Doughty.”

Mr Doughty was dismissed by UK Government-run East Coast Trains before the franchise was switched to Virgin Trains East Coast, which is 90 per cent owned by Stagecoach, on 1 March.

The operator runs trains between Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness and London via the east coast main line.

A Virgin Trains East Coast spokesman said: “It’s disappointing the union has pushed ahead with action when nearly three quarters of members affected didn’t vote for the dispute.

“We’re still in a dialogue with the union but, should it go ahead, this action would only affect staff based in Edinburgh, and our services will run as normal, so our passengers shouldn’t be concerned.”

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