Rail strike brings more travel misery

Author: By Alan Jones, Press Association

Services on National Express East Anglia routes, including busy commuter
trains from Essex into London’s Liverpool Street station, were affected this
morning.

Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport Union and the drivers’ union Aslef
walked out at the start of a 48-hour strike following the breakdown of talks
yesterday.

RMT leader Bob crow said: “Our members have shown again that they are solid,
angry and determined to secure a fair deal on pay and conditions from a
company that is obsessed with maximising profits at the expense of staff and
the travelling public.

“National Express have provoked this action and have alienated their entire
workforce. Those workers have shown that they are not prepared to take a hit
to prop up the profits of a company whose management have shown that they
are not fit to run rail services.”

Booking clerks belonging to a third union, the Transport Salaried Staffs
Association, will join another 48 hour strike planned for next week if the
deadlock is not broken.

The company accused the unions of demanding “unrealistic” pay rises and said
an improved offer had been rejected.

Andrew Chivers, managing director of National Express East Anglia, said: “We
have asked the unions to suspend the action whilst discussions continue, but
this request has been refused. We have also asked the unions to put our
revised offer to their members, but this request has also been refused.

“We believe the pay claims continue to be wholly unrealistic and that
continuing strike action is inappropriate and unnecessary.

“We are extremely sorry that our customers will be inconvenienced as a result
of this unnecessary industrial action by the unions.”

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