AROUND 2,500 train drivers working for the freight company English Welsh & Scottish Railway (EWS) are to strike over pay and hours. They include workers who have recently blocked ammunition trains in Scotland. The workers are members of Aslef and voted overwhelmingly for action in a ballot. Strikes have been set for four Saturdays-1,8,15,22 February.
John Geoghegan, the Aslef chair for union reps in EWS, told Socialist Worker, 'The company has been stalling on talks and does not seem serious about addressing our grievances. We want to move now to a 35-hour week-which has been promised but never implemented. At present some drivers are on 12-hour shifts, which we do not believe is good for the workers involved or for safety. We also want a decent pay deal. EWS drivers are on the lowest basic pay and have the worst pensions of any drivers in Britain.'
RMT members on EWS were also set to announce the result of a strike ballot this week.