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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 January 2010

Virgin Trains ticket office workers walk out

Rail union TSSA members in Coventry were on strike on 15 January for the second time in as many weeks, as the dispute with Virgin Trains management continues.

Ticket office staff walked out between 4pm and 7pm. This will be followed by further action.

Once again, pickets received support from the public - what they are fighting for is in the interests of the rail users as much as the staff themselves.

Pickets distributed a TSSA leaflet, which explained how the union are fighting for a commitment to the future of the ticket offices, no job losses, shift cover, and a fair deal for staff.

It said: "Virgin trains have refused to commit to any of these requests - a response that is indicative of a privatised rail industry where maximising income and shareholder dividend always seems to get priority over the interests of rail users."

The Socialist Party agrees with this - one of the many reasons we oppose rail privatisation and support the full renationalisation and public ownership of the railways.

Despite the cold, the workers were in a determined mood, and were warmed by samosas and onion bhajis on the picket line.

Paul Hunt

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