East Anglia strikes set to continue

12 August 2009

Rail unions who have spent three days this week in ACAS-facilitated talks with National Express East Anglia (NXEA) will continue with industrial action this week and are set to call further strike dates as negotiations have become increasingly fractious and unproductive. The three meetings this week resulted in no notable progress.

‘The company seems to live on another planet,’ says ASLEF leader Keith Norman. ‘Train drivers voted by 95% to 5% to back industrial action: the RMT vote was of a similar level and this week the TSSA has joined the three-week dispute. But despite this, NXEA doesn’t seem to realise it has a problem, and certainly has shown no sign of doing anything to remedy it.’

ASLEF and the RMT have taken action on the last two Thursdays and Fridays and the strikes look set to continue beyond this week. ASLEF has set up a hardship fund for its strikers saying it is prepared to ‘dig in’ and the RMT says it has 'no doubt about the determination of its members' who are ‘solid, angry and determined’. The unions attribute the dispute to management failing to address failing industrial relations, inequality of conditions between staff, inconsistent discipline awards and an unrealistic pay offer of a single percent with ‘unacceptable conditions’.

The strikes have effectively closed the lines with no more than a handful of services being operated by managers.

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