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Virgin Trains strike
Members of the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA), which represents ticket office staff within the rail industry, took strike action on 4 January as a result of a dispute with Virgin Trains management.
Clive Dunkley, Coventry Socialist Party
Pickets at Coventry station reported that as well as the original four stations taking action, Wolverhampton, Warrington and others along the west coast mainline had decided to join the strike.
Manjit Gill, a TSSA representative in Coventry said: "I have just completed 30 years service on the railways and this is the first strike to be called in my time here."
This shows the level of anger with Virgin Trains' penny pinching plans. The company recently reported annual profits of over £100 million.
TSSA leader Gerry Doherty, who visited the picket line in Coventry, said members were striking to defend their jobs and services to passengers. "Virgin are just the latest of the privately owned rail companies to cut back on customer services to boost their bottom line during the recession.
"Last week passengers at Coventry had to wait 30 minutes in a 100-metre long queue just to buy a ticket. That will start happening right along this busy line if management get away with these latest cutbacks."
He also accused Virgin of closing ticket office windows to force passengers to use the more expensive station ticket machines.
Coventry Socialist Party members were welcomed on the picket line and helped leaflet passengers entering the station.
In The Socialist 6 January 2010:
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International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace analysis
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