Transpennine Express

25 October 2013

The union has been talking to the company about the number of rest days each driver gets every year. Our members at TPE want the same number of rest days as drivers working for other train operating companies in this country.

When talks broke down, and when the company went behind the union’s back and provocatively offered individual drivers a £1,000 bounty to work as many days as the company asked, the union conducted a ballot for industrial action and our drivers voted overwhelmingly for action.

We served the statutory notice yesterday (Thursday 24 October) and, unless the company reaches an agreement with the union, the drivers will take strike action early next month.

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, said: ‘TransPennine Express are in a hole, of their own making, and they should stop digging. They are not honouring agreements they happily entered into; they have been playing fast and loose with rostering agreements that they approved; and they have been ignoring collective bargaining arrangements to which they signed up.

‘All because of their refusal to employ enough drivers to run the scheduled timetables they have published and to which they agreed in their franchise application. That’s at the root of this problem – TPE’s failure to employ enough drivers to run the published timetable. Probably because they want to run a train service on the cheap and maximise their profits.

‘But there is still time for the company to come to its senses and do a deal with the drivers in line with the other privatised train operating companies. Strike action is always a last resort but the actions of the employer have forced us into this position. The solution is in the hands of TransPennine Express.’

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