Maintenance work on Britain’s rail rolling stock could be badly hit if engineers at Wabtec Rail Limited in Doncaster vote to take strike action in a pay dispute, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, warned today (Wednesday 24 July).

Unite said it was balloting its more than 320 members at the Hexthorpe Road site for strike action and/or industrial action short of a strike after they rejected a two per cent pay offer for the year starting April 2019.

The ballot opens on Tuesday 30 July and closes on Tuesday 20 August.

Unite regional officer Harriet Eisner said: “Our members have rejected a paltry two per cent pay offer and are seeking a pay rise that reflects the soaring cost of living.

“If our members vote for industrial action, it will be the first time in recent years that there has been a strike at this company.

“Wabtec Rail maintains and repairs the rail bogies that are essential for the undercarriage workings of rolling stock across the UK. A strike will have an accumulative negative effect which, in the long term, could see rolling stock grind to a halt across the country.

“However, we hope that we can settle this dispute before that situation arises. To that end, Unite’s door is open for constructive talks.”

The site is the birthplace of famous steam locomotives, such as the Flying Scotsman and the world steam speed record holder Mallard.


Notes to editors:

The company’s website states: ‘Wabtec Rail has continued to build on this history, and our passenger fleet refurbishment expertise has encompassed the refurbishment of London Underground’s Waterloo and City Line trains through to the carrying out of heavy maintenance, interior upgrades and refurbishments of DMU’s, EMU’s, High Speed Trains, locomotives and coaching stock for the UK’s rolling stock leasing companies and train operators.’

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065
Email: [email protected]

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.