Second rail firm seeks ‘amicable agreement’

Author: By Margaret Davis, Press Association

Members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT)
who work for Arriva franchise CrossCountry are staging a month-long ban on
overtime and non-rostered Sunday working.

The action includes a refusal to clear litter from trains.

Yesterday engineering work and a lack of staff caused disruption to rail
services between Cardiff and Nottingham, and Birmingham and Stansted.

Buses replaced trains between the UK’s second city and the airport, adding an
hour to the normal journey time.

Talks to settle the dispute broke up on Friday and will be reconvened this

A spokesman for CrossCountry said: “We met with them on Friday and we had a
useful meeting, and we’re meeting with them again next Wednesday. We’re
hopeful that the proposal we put forward could make an amicable agreement
and see an end to this.”

Holidaymakers and commuters face further travel disruption over the next
fortnight with strikes planned on the National Express East Anglia
franchise, which includes the Stansted Express.

The RMT and train drivers’ union Aslef are in a separate dispute with the
franchise, also over pay and conditions.

They staged a 48-hour walkout which ended at midnight on Friday, and if talks
planned for next week fail members will strike again on August 13/14 and

Unless the deadlock is broken, those taking action will be joined by members
of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association.

Keith Norman, general secretary of Aslef, said: “We can frankly see no
solution to this dispute in sight, and it looks as if we’ll have to dig in
for the long term.”

Mr Norman said he was astonished at the “lack of leadership and dearth of
compromise” which he claimed had been the hallmark of National Express East
Anglia’s approach to the dispute.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “Both Arriva CrossCountry and National
Express East Anglia think they can force their workers to pay the price for
both the recession and mistakes that have been made by the companies at the
most senior level.

“RMT members on both franchises have shown that they will not line up to take
a kicking from the companies on pay and conditions and that they are
prepared to fight back and both disputes will go on for as long as it takes
to secure a meaningful, negotiated settlement.”

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