Rail Union Threatens Further Strikes in Pay Dispute; MORE TRANSPORT CHAOS IF OFFER IS NOT IMPROVED

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), March 1, 2011 | Go to article overview

Rail Union Threatens Further Strikes in Pay Dispute; MORE TRANSPORT CHAOS IF OFFER IS NOT IMPROVED


Byline: SAM MALONE

UNION officials last night warned train bosses an agreement over pay would not be reached unless they make an improved offer.

Both sides will meet for yet another round of talks on Thursday after a strike by Aslef members caused major disruption across the country yesterday, when none of Arriva Trains Wales' 950 services ran.

The union is in a long-running dispute with the company over what the company says is a 12% pay offer over two years on top of its members' annual pounds 39,117 salary.

While agreeing to further talks, Stan Moran, Aslef district organiser for Wales, threatened more strikes if the company did not revise its offer.

"If that's the full and final offer then we will still be talking next year," he said.

"And if nothing happens, then more dates will be put on."

Yesterday's industrial action was estimated to have cost the Welsh economy up to pounds 10m as people struggled to make it in to work on time - meaning hundreds of productivity hours were lost.

No alternative transport was laid on for passengers and as a result roads along all Arriva Trains Wales routes were reported to have seen an increase in traffic. An Arriva Trains Wales spokesman said the company would do everything it could to prevent any more days of disruption but said it had already done all it could.

"The offer has been increased three times and an offer of 12% over two years is generous in anybody's mind. It's our final offer and we will not be raising it again," he said "The prospect of further strike action is a regrettable possibility but we will do our utmost to avoid any by urging the union to reconsider.

"The door is open and we urge them to come forward and sit round the table to try and resolve this issue."

He said the firm understood the frustration felt by its customers but said normal service would resume today.

He added: "I'm not sure whether one day of industrial action means we have to go to panic stations but we are mindful that we survive because people use the railway. …

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