Misery For Commuters Set To Continue As National Express East Anglia and Union Talks Fail
PUBLISHED: 19:47 11 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:01 04 May 2010
STRIKE action that has caused misery for commuters and families in Ely over the last two weeks looks set to continue. Talks between union leaders and National Express East Anglia (NXEA) have broken down and more strikes are likely in the coming few weeks.
STRIKE action that has caused misery for commuters and families in Ely over the last two weeks looks set to continue.
Talks between union leaders and National Express East Anglia (NXEA) have broken down and more strikes are likely in the coming few weeks.
A series of 48-hour strikes by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union (RMT) and the train drivers union ASLEF, over the last fortnight have caused chaos for people looking to travel into London, and the action shows no signs of stopping after deadlock in talks set up to avert more strikes.
County councillor Geoff Heathcock said, "I am deeply concerned at what appears to be a dug in position on both sides which will help no one least of all the travelling public who are reliant on local branch line services as well as services to London, no one will win if this goes on"
The strike action, which could also involve workers on the Arriva Cross Country service serving Stanstead and the midlands, began on July 30 with staff left frustrated at what they saw as an inadequate pay rise offer from NXEA.
Managers at the train operator have suggested that the unions are holding out for a 2.5 per cent pay rise, a four-day working week and a four per cent increase in the number of train drivers.
If the action does continue from today, NXEA services into Liverpool Street will be severely affected until Saturday with Arriva Cross Country services also experiencing delays.
The RMT's Bob Crow, said "These strikes has been caused by greedy National Express bosses who have soaked up £2.5 billion in taxpayer subsidies in the past 10 years and who have milked every penny out of this franchise while offering their staff peanuts this year."
Andrew Chivers, managing director of National Express East Anglia said: "We remain thoroughly committed to reaching a fair and reasonable agreement for this year's pay award. The unions' demands have so far been unrealistic despite an improved offer. Therefore, we are calling for the unions to join us at the planned meeting at ACAS with a clear view of solving this dispute once and for all."
INFO: The Ely Standard website will be updated with news on strike action and details of any delays. Go to: www.elystandard24.co.uk