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Eurostar trains will be “severely affected” by this December’s strikes, the union warns

origin 1A high speed Eurostar train speeds on the LGV Nord railway track outside Rully near Paris, France. ©REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Security staff of the Eurostar international train service go on strike for four days before Christmas over a wage dispute, a British the union representing transport workers said on Wednesday.

Eurostar works train passenger rail services linking London to Paris and other European capitals.

Members of the national union of rail, maritime and transport workers (RMT) who work for Eurostar will leave on December 16, 18, 22 and 23, the union said. Over 100 employees will take part in the action.

Security personnel perform essential duties that keep people safe on international train travel and are contracted out to a facilities management company called Mitie.

The union said the strikes would “seriously affect” Eurostar services during the Christmas period.

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“Eurostar security staff are essential to the functioning of Eurostar and it is a shame that they are not paid a decent salary,” said RMT Secretary General Mick Lynch.

“We do not want disrupt people’s travel plansbut our members need a pay rise and that’s the only way management will listen.”

Lynch urged Mitie and Eurostar to negotiate a deal with RMT “as soon as possible”.

origin 1Passengers queue to check-in for the Eurostar international rail service at St Pancras station in London.REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

A Eurostar spokesperson said discussions with Mitie, who employ the affected staff, were ongoing and they would update passengers on any impact to the service.

Mitie said his priority is “to ensure outstanding services are provided as normal so that passengers can continue their journeys with minimal disruption.”

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The Eurostar It comes after a wave of strikes has hit UK railways in recent months with workers demanding better wages and working conditions.

There are more to come with RMT announcing further industrial action at Network Rail and 14 other train operators on 13-14 and 16-17 December, as well as 3-4 and 6-7 January next year.