Strike action at London Midland 28 and 29 Feb

14 February 2008

ASLEF has announced that the 178 train drivers it represents at the Bletchley depot of London Midland will be taking strike action on the last two days of February. The action has been called because of the breakdown of talks on pensions. Managers at the company have now recognised that the problem exists – but are unwilling to pay to remedy it.

 

The union insists that its members’ pensions are being radically reduced because the employer omitted to enhance pension provision when pay improvements have been agreed in the past – which is contrary to agreements and practice.

 

After receiving evidence from an outside specialist company, the company has now acknowledged the scale of the problem. Some train drivers – the ones nearest to retirement - stand to lose £2,700 a year from the pensions they expected to receive – and £4,700 from the lump sum to which they expected to be entitled.

 

London Midland agrees that this is the case, but says that it is prepared to do no more than share the cost of putting it right – some £1.4 million.

 

The union says this approach is ‘completely unreasonable’. General Secretary Keith Norman insists, ‘We have already paid our share. Management has misapplied it. It is ridiculous to suggest that ASLEF members should now pay for management’s mistakes.’

 

The strikes announced so far will affect trains on 28 and 29 February, but the union warns that this could be ‘only the beginning’ of the dispute.

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