ASLEF refutes First North Western’s lies on productivity

02 September 2005

The train drivers’ union ASLEF has accused First North Western of trying to sabotage an agreement on pay by attempting to impose new productivity measures on its workforce.

ASLEF and FNW reached an agreement on pay two weeks ago which averted a series of planned strikes. The deal would have increased pay for the drivers, who are among the worst paid in the country.

Talks on 9 productivity measures were on-going when the pay agreement was signed. The union was co-operating fully with these negotiations.

Now however the company has cited some 25 productivity initiatives, including that drivers be made responsible for picking up litter at train stations. None of the new proposals had been seen by the union until it received a document from FNW on Monday 5 August. 

ASLEF general secretary Mick Rix condemned FNW for trying to bounce members into taking on new roles before negotiations with the union were completed. He said it was totally disingenuous of the company to accuse the union of refusing to accept that the pay deal would have to be paid for by productivity measures.

“We believed that a deal had been reached between ASLEF and First North Western. Unfortunately this was not the case and management at First North Western have reneged on what we believed was a positive agreement for both sides in this dispute. Negotiations on productivity were ongoing and it is outrageous that the company has introduced these new, and frankly unacceptable, proposals without consulting with its workforce.”



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