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British rail company facing £25 million discrimination lawsuit

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Kathy Audin
WVoN co-editor

Over 30 women middle managers of a British rail company, Network Rail, have filed an equal pay claim which is said to be the “largest ever” in the rail industry.

The women allege that they are paid £4500 less on average than their male counterparts in similar roles at the company which maintains tracks, signals and stations.

The women’s union, the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA), said they could expect to receive lump sums of over £25,000 each in back pay if their claims succeed.

An initial claim for the 34 women was backed at the union’s annual conference in Cardiff this week.

Union general secretary Manuel Cortes said the women were “the tip of the iceberg” when he outlined his equality plans at a legal briefing for delegates.

Hundreds more claims could follow as up to 1,000 female staff were being discriminated against on pay.

He said an equal pay survey of 2,000 staff had revealed the pay gap of £4,500 at NR.
“That is just an average figure, in some cases the gap is as high as £10,000,” he added.

“This is completely unacceptable in a firm which receives the majority of its funding, £4 billion a year, from the taxpayer.

“We are determined to end women being treated as second class citizens in the rail industry when it comes to pay.

“NR should set an example to the rest of the industry, bearing in mind the Equal Pay Act became the law of the land more than 35 years ago.”

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