Breaking News

Southeastern and Network rail workers vote overwhelmingly for strike action

More rail workers say enough is enough

Image by Train Photos – 375608 (1P18) and 377518 (1B90) to London Victoria, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Workers at Southeastern and at Network Rail have voted overwhelmingly for strike action against government and corporate exploitation. TSSA members at the two organisations have voted for strike action and action short of a strike in their dispute over pay, conditions and job security, joining members of ASLEF and the RMT union in taking direct action against attempts to cut their pay, reduce safety and disadvantage vulnerable travellers.

More than 6,000 TSSA members in a wide range of operational roles, including engineering, maintenance, supervisory, support, and – crucially – control roles have voted in favour of both strike action and action short of strike. Even managerial staff in the top bands of the company have voted in favour of both levels of action. However, among managers at Network Rail the strike action vote missed out on the required legal threshold by less than 2%, so while managers in bands 1-4 can take action short of strike, they cannot take strike action from this result.

TSSA is demanding a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies for 2022, no unagreed changes to terms and conditions, and a pay increase which reflects the rising cost of living. Network Rail staff last had a pay rise between two and three years ago (it varies between grades) and also worked throughout the coronavirus pandemic as key workers.

The union has not yet named dates for any industrial action and is now discussing the next steps with workplace reps.

The Network Rail results in full were as follows:

Bands 5-8 and controllers

Action consisting of a strike:

· Yes: 77.4%
· No: 22.6%
· Turnout was: 61.4%

Prepared to take industrial action short of a strike:

· Yes: 90.8%
· No: 9.2%
· Turnout was: 61.4%

Maintenance Engineers

Prepared to take industrial action consisting of a strike:

· Yes: 69.2%
· No: 30.8%
· Turnout was: 64.7%

Prepared to take industrial action short of a strike:

· Yes: 88.8 per cent
· No: 11.2 per cent
· Turnout was: 64.7 per cent

Bands 1-4 (management grades)

Prepared to take industrial action consisting of a strike:

· Yes: 68.2%
· No: 31.8%
· Turnout was: 56.9%

Prepared to take industrial action short of a strike:

· Yes: 86.8%
· No: 13.2%
· Turnout was: 56.9%

(Under anti-trade union laws this means Bands 1-4 are able to take only action short of a strike)

At Southeastern, the results were:

Prepared to take industrial action consisting of a strike –

Yes – 73.9%
No – 26.1%
Turnout was 69.7%  

Prepared to take industrial action short of a strike –

Yes – 85.1%
No – 14.9%
Turnout was 69.7%

Southeastern is wholly owned by the Department for Transport (DfT) after the removal of the franchise from its corporate owners late last year and runs train services between London and Kent, and parts of East Sussex, operating 1,600 trains a day serving 180 stations and covering over 500 miles of track.

Stations potentially impacted include – London St Pancras, Victoria, Charing Cross and Cannon Street, Dover Priory, Ramsgate, Ashford International, Dartford, Sevenoaks and many more.

TSSA is also currently balloting members over strike action and action short of a strike at West Midlands Trains, Great Western Railway, Greater Anglia and TransPennine Express. Members have already voted for strike action at LNER, c2c, East Midlands Railway, CrossCountry, Avanti West Coast and for action short of a strike at West Midlands Trains and Northern.

SKWAWKBOX needs your help. The site is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you’d like to help it keep revealing the news as it is and not what the Establishment wants you to hear – and can afford to without hardship – please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep doing its job.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. Meanwhile, the money has been found for a massive increase in the military budget despite it already being one of the biggest in the world.

    “It is expected to mean an extra £55bn by 2030, and could mean investments in future air combat capabilities for a “more dangerous” world, the PM said.”

    Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey recently attacked the government for allegedly not spending enough.

    1. Tony
      There’s always money for wars.
      As many know part of the reason why the govt are keen to increase defence spending was down to Johnson. He saw his support for Ukraine as a way of fending off complaints of his corrupt behaviour and keeping himself in Downing Street.

    2. As Roy Bailey sang “There’s always enough for a war, but there’s never enough for the poor.”

    3. Air combat LOL!!

      Russians are now on S-550 (it kills satellites and is very good at it too). S-400 took the world record for furthest shoot down (91 miles!) recently in Ukraine. If Russia switches on an S-500 in Moscow (never mind closer to the border or at a friend’s place) then planes will have trouble taking off from Brize Norton and Fairfield.

      More of our money being spaffed away.

  2. Is Mick Lynch the spark we needed?
    Fuck yeah! Coordinated Campaigns of strike action and I am sure coordinated Campaigns of TORY Parasite removal from the Labour Movement.
    That is all we need is a spark and experienced coordinators, who are not afraid of, too kind, too gentle or will fall victim to the nastiness that will follow. Sue the bastards before their lies and bile lands on a single ear! No trust given to TORY Parasites, no friendship or kindness given to TORY Parasites, rip them out one by one!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: