Socialist Worker

Transpennine train strike forces bosses to table

by Matthew Cookson
Issue No. 2267

Members of the RMT and Aslef rail unions at First Transpennine Express on Wednesday of last week has forced management to offer talks on pay.

The new offer led the unions to call off another strike planned for Friday of last week.

The drivers are angry at a below-inflation pay offer of 2.2 percent.

Their strike caused severe disruption for train services across the north of England, including Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, York and Newcastle.

The unions had offered to suspend Wednesday’s strike for Acas conciliation service talks, but bosses turned them down.

Managers were then witnessed observing pickets at depots and stations. But this did not put workers off taking action.

A Hull-based driver told Socialist Worker, “The strike was 100 percent solid among drivers in the unions.

“We had a picket near the staff car park starting at 11am and with further support from 1pm as there were some

non-union drivers expected to work in the afternoon.

“Due to the difficulty in covering all the entrances this moved to Anlaby Road around 4pm.

“There was also a small protest on Park Street Bridge as one of the trains left at 4.40pm.”

The company has recently announced its profits are up by 13 percent.

£42 million has been paid in dividends to shareholders and the top boss has received a

5.8 percent pay rise.

So the company can afford a decent pay rise for everyone.

The strength of the action has forced management to the table.

Workers should reject any deal that is a below-inflation “rise” as it in effect means a pay cut.

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Article information

Tue 30 Aug 2011, 17:11 BST
Issue No. 2267
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