Fears that rail strike could wreak havoc
The threat of industrial action by DB Cargo staff could have a devastating impact on post-Brexit traffic flows.
With the road transport infrastructure already under pressure, the potential increase in demand caused by a shift of rail cargo, due to a strike, will potentially unravel recent progress in the sector.
Discussions between the leading rail freight company in the UK, DB Cargo UK, and Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) are currently being held in order to avoid a crushing strike.
As DB Cargo UK controls 50% of the British rail market, running numerous services into Europe, through the Eurotunnel, any strike would have considerable repercussions on Britain’s rail freight operations and see even more cargo diverted to ferry services.
The dispute started as a result of a new joint venture, which DB Cargo recently set up with Maritime transport Group, a haulage company.
The new joint division, Maritime Intermodal, was announced by the two companies in January. Whilst the TSSA want to ensure that the union rights of the workers are transferred with the workers to the new joint venture, they are currently deadlocked negotiations with management.
Both TSSA and DB Cargo UK have agreed to keep discussing issues over the next few days, in order to avert the disruptions caused by the strike, however, TSSA said that if demands are not met the strike will go ahead.