Train staff could strike as Avanti West Coast is blasted for ‘see-through’ uniforms

Train staff are considering strike action over the introduction of new “see-through” uniforms by Avanti West Coast that are leaving them feeling exposed and vulnerable.

A trade union wants the train operator, who runs services from Glasgow Central to London Euston, to abandon it’s rollout of the staff clothing.

The uniforms have been described as “uncomfortable and revealing”, the Scottish Daily Express reports.

Avanti West Coast have been told to “treat their staff with the respect they deserve” by the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) Women in Focus group.

They shared their concerns on social media, saying: “The company should be protecting women, not making us targets.”

TSSA asked Avanti West Coast to withdraw the “cheap quality uniforms and treat their staff with the respect they deserve”.

Transport and travel union – TSSA – has called on Avanti West Coast to abandon plans to bring in ‘see through’ uniforms after an outcry from women members and union reps

Avanti West Coast responded by saying that staff can wear alternative items if they did not feel comfortable, including a polo shirt, dress, or layer the shirt with other garments.

It added that the new shirt was “heavier than the current uniform and conforms with international standards”.

The TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said there has been “zero consultation” with their union about the uniforms.

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He added: “There has been zero consultation with our union about the uniforms.

“We would have told Avanti that they would leave our members, and women across the company, feeling exposed at a time when sexual assaults on the railways are on the rise. Frankly the company now deserves all the bad publicity it is likely to get. “

Avanti West Coast has run the services on the West Coast line from Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley to London since 2019 when they took over the contract from Virgin.

A source from the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) told the Sun that its members were considering a strike due to the uniforms.

The union said that it had received a number of complaints from train staff about them, with one female worker claiming that her bra could be seen underneath the blouses.

General Secretary Mick Lynch pointed out these concerns and said: “The company need to take urgent and immediate action to rectify this situation, listen to their staff and respect their duty of care.”

A spokesman for Avanti West Coast, said: “The uniform has been trialled by staff from across the business and this issue was not raised.
“The composition of the shirt is heavier than the current uniform and conforms with international standards of grading quality.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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