DRIVERS ON First North Western (FNW) trains are due to strike for 48 hours next week after management broke off negotiations. FNW boss Vernon Barker had the cheek to tell negotiators from the Aslef train drivers' union that 'the dispute would not be settled until Christmas' if union district secretary Colin Smith continued to take part in the talks. Aslef general secretary Mick Rix said:
'This is another disgraceful example of FNW attacks, not only on the integrity of our drivers, but on the integrity of an elected official of this union.' The union is now seeking talks with FNW's parent company, transport giant First Group.
Further action, planned for Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, can hurt the company. The last two 48-hour strikes over pay and against unfair productivity demands shut First North Western's service in the north west of England.
WORKERS ON Arriva Trains Northern are appealing for solidarity as they move to escalate their long-running pay fight. 'Our fight is important for every rail worker and for other trade unionists,' one guard told Socialist Worker. 'Wider support can help us win.'
Phone 07764 796 222 for speakers at union and workplace meetings. Rush donations to Arriva Strike Fund, c/o RMT, 39 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD.