Hardship fund as union sees no solution at NXEA

07 August 2009

Keith Norman, the general secretary of train drivers’ union ASLEF, today announced that the union is to set up a hardship fund to support drivers facing financial difficulties because of the strike action at National Express East Anglia.


‘We can frankly see no solution to this dispute in sight - and it looks as if we’ll have to dig in for the long term,’ he said.


Keith said that ASLEF members had backed the strike solidly, demonstrating again the strength of feeling that resulted in a 95% vote for action last month. ‘We will make sure that no member has to return to work because of financial considerations,’ he said.


Keith repeated his astonishment at the ‘lack of leadership and dearth of compromise’ that has been the hall-mark of the company’s approach to date.


‘We have agreed to meet NXEA officials again on Monday but unless they show due consideration to the views of their staff, further action will take place on 13/14 and 20/21 August 2009,’ he said.


Keith said that he had been appalled at the company’s attempt to manipulate the media. ‘They told the press we had demanded £1,000 increases before we’d go back to work – and no reporter seems to have challenged this.


‘I can tell you now that although we’ve never asked for it, if they offer us this we’ll have trains running smoothly before you can say ‘company spin doctor’,’ he said.

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