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UK Eurostar security workers to strike in lead-up to Christmas

Services are expected to be ‘severely affected’. The 100 staff members, who are employed by a private contractor, are calling for pay increases

UK Eurostar security staff are set to strike on December 16, 18, 22 and 23 over a pay dispute Pic: TungCheung / Shutterstock

Around 100 security staff working for Eurostar will strike on December 16, 18, 22 and 23, in a dispute over pay. 

This was announced by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) yesterday (November 30). 

Security staff operate x-ray machines and run exit checks on passengers leaving the UK, while passport control is manned by French officials.

This industry action is expected to “severely affect” Eurostar services, RMT said, although a company spokesperson told Reuters that talks were still ongoing with the contractor that employs the staff members in question, Mitie. 

Eurostar has said that it will provide an update on the potential impact to services as soon as possible.

Read also: Air France, EasyJet, Ryanair: Christmas strike threats multiply

Read also: Longer waiting times expected due to new EU border checks

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said security staff are “essential” to Eurostar’s operations, and “it is disgraceful they are not being paid a decent wage. 

“They work long, unsocial hours and a multimillion pound company like Mitie can easily afford to pay them decently for the essential work they do.” 

Mitie has said that it has already offered a 10% pay rise to its staff, and that it was “disappointed” that strike action was going ahead. 

UK rail services will also be affected by action from Network Rail and 14 train companies on December 13-14, 16-17, January 3-4 and January 6-7.

The news of the Eurostar security staff strike has been met with dismay by travellers on social media, with one tweeting: “A third year of Christmas stress [...] I will break if we cannot travel.” 

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