Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Train Drivers Call Three-Day Strike in Middle of Olympics

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Train Drivers Call Three-Day Strike in Middle of Olympics

Article excerpt

Byline: Dick Murray Transport Correspondent

UNION chiefs today ordered three days of rail strikes during the middle of the Olympics on a key main line connecting the Midlands to London.

Train drivers will walk out on Monday August 6, Tuesday August 7, and Wednesday August 8, crippling East Midlands Trains services into Euston.

Thousands of Olympic ticket holders hoping to see some of the biggest stars of track and field now face heartbreak by being stranded outside the capital.

Jamaican sprint superstar Usain Bolt and British gold medal hope triple jumper Phillips Idowu are among the big names competing during the three days of strikes.

Aslef, the train drivers union which has ordered the strikes in a longrunning dispute over pensions, was immediately accused of kicking the country "in the teeth".

David Horne, managing director of East Midlands Trains, said: "This is yet another example of Aslef playing games and is a real kick in the teeth for our customers and the country.

"There was only one point of clarification still under discussion with the union on the pension proposal we put forward back in June. We were in talks with Aslef to deal with this when we heard further strike action dates had been announced, rather than putting the offer accepted in principle in June to their members for consideration.

"We're certain that the public will be shocked and angry about this strike action during a time of great national pride for our country. We hope it can see sense."

Mr Horne promised that if the strikes went ahead the Stagecoach-owned operator would "pull out all the stops" to ensure it ran as many trains as possible.

All three main lines into London, including the West and East Coast routes, will be very busy during the Games.

The pension dispute has already led to previous walkouts. …

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