CONTRACTED-OUT caterers working for a railway operator are to strike in a dispute over pay and pensions.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) working for Rail Gourmet on TransPennine Express (TPE) services will walk out for 48 hours from Thursday.

The union said they received lower pay and poorer terms and conditions than colleagues directly employed by the train operator.

The National: Mick Lynch

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Greedy rail contractors have for too long exploited our members, and Rail Gourmet is no exception.

“Rail Gourmet staff wear the same uniform and work just as hard as directly employed TransPennine Express workers.

“Yet they earn considerably less and will be left in poverty in retirement all because TPE contract out their catering services.

“RMT will not rest until we achieve a reasonable settlement on pay, pensions and sick pay, and our members are fully prepared to take further industrial action if necessary.”