WORKERS ON Arriva Trains Northern (ATN) are buoyed up by news that their long-running series of strikes is hitting the company's balance sheet hard. Bob Davies is chief executive of Arriva Group, the transport empire that has the Arriva Trains Northern franchise.
He told the Financial Times that each of the 18 days of strike action on ATN has knocked £200,000 off the company's profits. That adds up to £3.6 million so far this year. 'That's more than the £2 million we were told by our management,' one RMT rep on ATN told Socialist Worker. 'And it's not including the money Arriva has lost through cancellations due to the ban it put on us working overtime on rest days. The figure would be higher still if the government's Strategic Rail Authority had not waived fines on the company to help it beat us. We need solidarity to see this to the end.'
Activists in the RMT union are pushing for regular collections for the Arriva workers, who are due to strike on Saturday of next week.
First North Western
DRIVERS ON First North Western trains struck for 48 hours for the third time on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Members of the Aslef union were joined by drivers in the RMT, who voted by 29 to one for action. 'The mood is definitely hardening,' says RMT rep Steve West. 'People are really angry with the company and it's clear the Strategic Rail Authority is telling it to take a hard line.'
A delegation of strikers travelled to Blackpool for a rally at the TUC on Tuesday. 'There's a lot of enthusiasm,' says Steve. 'Two inspectors who scabbed on the last strike were out this week. I think it's important now that we strike on the same day as Arriva. It would be a big boost for them. We are doing collections for them and Aslef reps now have the collection sheets.'
The executive of Aslef was to meet this week to discuss further action on First North Western.