Solid strike stops ATW

02 March 2011

ASLEF members working for Arriva Trains Wales (ATW) went on strike on Monday in an action that district organiser Stan Moran described as ‘100% solid’. None of the company’s timetabled 950 services ran. The previous day, a Sunday, saw considerable disruption as drivers rejected calls to work it on voluntary overtime.


The strike is about strings attached to an unacceptable pay offer and resentment that Welsh drivers are paid less than their English counterparts working for the same firm. ATW operates in north and south Wales as well as into England including on the Cambrian Line and services to Manchester.


The company claimed that 8 out of 620 drivers reported for duty on Sunday, members of either a different, or no, union. On Monday no drivers turned up so it ran no services. No alternative transport was provided and Stan said, ‘We regret the disruption to the service and to our passengers but we would not have staged the strike if there had been any alternative.’


Stan added that although the offer appeared to be a 12% increase, this year’s offer was 4%, and a lot of this was made up of productivity. ‘The other part of the offer is dependent on a commitment to drivers working on Sundays.


‘If they want that, they'll have to pay the price to get it.’


Stan said the public showed no animosity to the pickets or the strikers and he called the 100% backing for the dispute ‘a clear vindication of the union’s position and a magnificent tribute to our members’ sense of loyalty and self-respect. I applaud every one of them.’


During the day he put the union’s case on most national TV and radio channels and a considerable number of local radio stations and regional newspapers.


‘Now we want to sit down with management and work out an agreement that will get our members and their passengers back to work,’ he said. If this does not happen, the union will consider further industrial action.

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