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Crewe and Nantwich rail users could be hit by further transport problems as Virgin Trains West Coast staff announce strike action in December and January.

The action comes after RMT Union members voted by 9 to 1 in favour of striking in a dispute over pay.

That could hit Virgin West Coast services in and out of Crewe on key dates, including the Fridays of December 15 and 22.

And it comes amid ongoing industrial action by Arrive NorthWest Bus drivers and engineers, which has affected many routes in and out of South Cheshire.

The full-list of 24-hour walk-outs by around 1,800 Virgin train managers, catering staff and other station staff includes:

• 0001 and 2359 Friday 15th December 2017
• 0001 and 2359 Friday 22nd December 2017
• 0001 and 2359 Friday 5th January 2018
• 0001 and 2359 Monday 8th January 2018
• 0001 and 2359 Friday 26th January 2018
• 0001 and 2359 Monday 29th January 2018

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “Our members on Virgin West Coast are striking for workplace equality and workplace justice.

“All our members are demanding is a suitable and equal offer to that given to drivers to buy out their claim for a reduction in the base working week.

“We have made it clear to the company that the inequality and underhanded approach of Virgin will be fought tooth and nail. We will not accept our members being dealt with less favourably than others.

“The message needs to get through to Sir Richard Branson on his luxury island retreat in the sunshine that those who are financing his lifestyle through their hard graft have had enough and are prepared to fight for justice in their workplaces.

“The union remains available for talks.”

Phil Whittingham, managing director for Virgin Trains on the west coast, said: “The RMT leadership is attempting to cause disruption when many will want to travel by train to spend time with loved ones.

“We have explored a generous 3.6% pay increase, however the trade union’s leadership is insisting on 4%, double the 2% average increase seen across the UK this year.

“We know how important it is for friends and families to get together over the festive season, so we will keep the majority of our trains running with fully-trained staff on board and at stations.

“We remain open to continuing talks with the RMT.”

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