Eurostar’s London staff to strike over ‘shocking’ working conditions

Eurostar staff at London's St Pancras train station will stage a 48-hour strike at the end of the month in protest over "shocking" working conditions, their union said Thursday.

Eurostar's London staff to strike over 'shocking' working conditions
Overcrowding at St Pancras in London. Photo: AFP

The RMT rail union said the action was planned for September 30th and October 1st following summer travel disruptions that forced workers to deal with thousands of angry customer complaints.

“The conditions at St Pancras have been simply appalling over the summer with dangerous levels of overcrowding on the concourse as services plunge into meltdown on the cusp of the busiest part of the year,” RMT general secretary Mick Cash said.

An RMT statement said the dispute was “over shocking and dangerous working conditions resulting from repeated service failures and breakdowns.”

There was no immediate response from Eurostar.

St Pancras station provides fast rails service to Paris and Brussels as well as Amsterdam and two other locations in France.

READ ALSO: Off the rails: What's happened to the once-great Eurostar service?

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Eurostar’s souvenir bomb warning after Paris station evacuated

Passengers on Eurostar have been warned about bringing shells that have been turned into souvenirs onto the trains after Paris' Gare du Nord station had to be evacuated.

Eurostar's souvenir bomb warning after Paris station evacuated
The Eurostar terminal at Gare du Nord was evacuated
The Paris transport hub had to be evacuated early on Monday morning after a World War II shell was found in a passenger's bag.


The evacuation, which happened at about 5.45am on Monday, was completed by 10am, but has led to longer than usual queues for Eurostar services.

It is the latest in a series of security alerts caused by passengers trying to take souvenir war artillery on to trains.

Eurostar issued a special warning ahead of the First World War commemorations in November 2018, but with just a month to go until memorial events for the D Day landings, there are fears that the problems could recur.
“As you're travelling during the commemoration period, please remember that you can't bring any real or replica bombs, shells (complete or partial) or weapons on board – even if you bought them from a gift shop,” Eurostar told passengers last year.
“If you bring them with you, they'll be confiscated at security and may result in the need to evacuate the station.”
Old World War I shells turned into flower pots have been popular souvenirs in Belgium and France ever since the end of the conflict, but passengers attempting to take them on board trains for Britain have sparked bomb scares in recent years.
Some of the alerts, which happen every few months, have also been caused by war memorabilia collectors bringing back disarmed ordnance unearthed by farmers at battle sites in northeast France.
Eurostar said even disarmed shells can set off X-ray alarms.