ASLEF calls strikes that

21 September 2005

Train driver’s union ASLEF today called for strike action which would halt trains into or out of London’s Paddington station on 3, 11 and 19 October.

In a ballot of drivers working for First Great Western, which had a 100% return, over 90% voted in favour of industrial action.

The issue is the union’s seeking a four day week from the company, for which it is offering to work longer shifts. The company is not prepared to negotiate the changes, claiming operational difficulties.

‘This has not prevented other companies coming to agreements with ASLEF on exactly the terms we are seeking at First Great Western,’ says union general secretary Keith Norman. ‘If they wanted to do it, they could.’

About 350 drivers will be involved in the dispute which was agreed this morning by the union’s executive committee.

The action would mean no main line trains would come into or leave Paddington, involving services to South Wales, Bristol and West Country.

Keith Normansays the union regrets the disruption to the public, but feels the issue is one of ‘major importance and serious principle’.

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