East Midlands Trains today challenged trade union ASLEF to let train drivers decide on the company’s proposals to resolve the current pensions dispute.
The company accused the ASLEF central negotiating team of deliberately keeping its members in the dark as the trade union plans to subject rail passengers to a fifth day of unnecessary industrial action. ASLEF had initially denied to members that the Company had made an improved offer, but has since admitted it did receive it.
Independent experts have recommended that East Midlands Trains drivers no longer need to contribute an extra £500 a year to the pension scheme. This will save drivers hundreds of pounds a year and have no impact on their pension benefits.
Clare McCartney, HR Director for East Midlands Trains, said: “Drivers are asking us why their union is denying them the right to decide on our proposals to resolve this strike over nothing.
“We have never understood why train drivers were being encouraged by ASLEF to strike for less pay. At the same time, drivers are being misled by ASLEF into losing a further £200 a day each time they walk out.
“Our proposals would increase the take-home pay for our employees, and increase their pension benefits. Instead of keeping its members in the dark, ASLEF should be honest about our proposals and let drivers decide.”
She added: “The only explanation for these continuing strikes is that ASLEF have boxed themselves into a position where they feel they cannot back down without losing face, and it is wrong that they are using their members pay packets to save face .”
East Midlands Trains has been running over 100 trains on each strike day – and the company hopes to be able to to further increase the number of train services during strike action.