Catering staff who provide the catering services on TransPennine Express services have won a 21.21% pay increase following a series of strikes in support of their pay claim.
The staff are not employed directly by TransPennine Express, but are employed by Rail Gourmet which offers poorer terms and conditions and lower pay than their colleagues on TransPennine Express. RMT called the series of strikes in support of their members claims for better pay, pensions, and sick pay.
Following settlement of the dispute, RMT members employed by Rail Gourmet will receive an increase in their average salary by over £4,000 this year, as well as winning concessions around duty rosters and leisure travel. An agreement was also reached as to how wages and conditions could be further improved in the future.
TransPennine Express (TPE) catering services offers its First Class customers hot food, with many morning services on its Nova trains having a choice of bacon and sausage ciabatta sandwiches, sausage rolls, and hot porridge.
On late afternoon and evening services there is a choice of curry in a naan, a poppadom dip box, sausage rolls, nuts, and sweet treats, while some evening services also have alcoholic drinks available. Many of the company's Class 185 trains also benefit from onboard catering, as well as Standard Class on the Nova fleet.
RMT general secretary, Mick Lynch said: “This is a fantastic victory for some of the most exploited workers on the railway.
“Only through the steadfast dedication and unity have Rail Gourmet workers achieved such an impressive pay increase.
“What this success shows is strike action and industrial muscle at the negotiating table achieves results.
“All contractors in the railway industry must be pressured to pay their workers properly, and to give them good conditions in the workplace.
“RMT will never shy away from that fight and ultimately all contracted out staff on the network must be brought back in the house.”