05 September 2005

Train drivers working for First North Western are to take strike action at weekends from September 28/29 until November 23/24, the ASLEF executive committee has announced.

The 48-hour strikes are part of a continuing dispute with the company over pay and productivity. The executive also agreed that all rest day working by train drivers at the company will cease from the end of this month.

ASLEF general secretary Mick Rix is also to write to the chairman of the Strategic Rail Authority, Richard Bowker, to seek an urgent meeting to endeavour to resolve the dispute.

Mr Rix said today (Thursday): "There is no possibility of this dispute being resolved while FNW management have their hands tied in terms of what they can offer by the SRA. It is time that Mr Bowker stopped carping from the sidelines, stepped out of the industrial relations shadows, and actually helped resolve this dispute. At present the SRA is playing a wrecking role.

"We have decided to set weekend strike dates henceforward in order to minimise disruption to commuters and to let the public know exactly what service may be expected."

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