Strikes begin as company with €401m profit fails to make any pay offer

Workers at train company Abellio East Midlands will begin strike action this week after the company refused to make any pay offer to its members.

Over 140 workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, will begin a 48-hour strike on Thursday 6 October, followed by a further 48-hour strike beginning on Monday 17 October.

Abellio made a net profit of €401 million in 2021. However, it has blamed its failure to make a pay offer on the Department for Transport (DfT), claiming that ministers have not authorised it to make a pay offer to its workers.

The workers ­­– based at depots in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham and employed as cleaners, technicians, shunters, engineers, inspectors, lathe operators, team leaders and supervisors – recorded an 84 per cent vote in favour of industrial action.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Abellio is an extremely wealthy company making millions in profit. Clearly, it can easily afford to make our members a fair pay offer and it should do so without delay. It should not be passing the buck on its duty to pay our members properly.

“Unite does what it says on the trade union tin and always fights for the jobs, pay and conditions of its members. The workers at Abellio have the union’s total support.”

The failure to make a pay offer has resulted in workers struggling to make ends meet amid a cost-of-living crisis where the real rate of inflation (RPI) is currently 12.3 per cent.

Unite regional officer Andy Shaw said: “Strike action will inevitably cause severe disruption across the East Midlands rail network, but this dispute is entirely of Abellio’s and the Department for Transport’s own making.”


Notes to editors:

Abellio rail workers in the East Midlands to ballot for strikes as company fails to make pay offer

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Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.