After three days of talks this week to prevent strike action on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 August, an agreement has not been reached with the trade unions.
All the indications are that the ASLEF, RMT and TSSA unions remain unrealistic in their demand for a substantial pay increase and have rejected an improved offer made this week. The ASLEF train drivers union (for example) want a minimum pay increase of £1000, taking the average driver’s earnings to over £42,000 in the next 12 months.
National Express East Anglia has invited ACAS to help the parties resolve the dispute. However, none of the trade unions are prepared to talk further until Monday. As a result the strikes will go ahead on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 August.
Andrew Chivers, Managing Director, National Express East Anglia said:
“We have asked the unions to suspend the action whilst discussions continue – but this request has been refused. We have also asked the unions to put our revised offer to their members – but this request has also been refused. We believe the pay claims continue to be wholly unrealistic and that continuing strike action is inappropriate and unnecessary.
“We are extremely sorry that our customers will be inconvenienced as a result of this unnecessary industrial action by the unions. For the sake of our customers we remain available at any time for discussions and will continue to strive for a sensible outcome.”
As members from the ASLEF and RMT trades unions now plan to take industrial action on the 6 and 7 August, most NXEA services will not run tomorrow and Friday. However, NXEA will operate as many services as possible, including some additional trains to those which ran during last week’s strike days.
Full details of the alternative timetable are provided here. These services will operate to the maximum number of carriages.
However, it is likely they will be extremely busy and people are strongly recommended to spread their journey times wherever possible.
Other alternative travel options for National Express East Anglia customers include:
* From parts of Greater London, TfL bus services and London Underground will be accepting Travelcards and season tickets only; other passengers should buy appropriate bus or Underground tickets or use Oyster pay as you go
* From parts of Essex: c2c services from Southend to London Fenchurch Street
* From parts of Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire: First Capital Connect services from King’s Lynn and Cambridge to London King’s Cross
* From parts of Norfolk: a combination of East Midlands Trains and First Capital Connect services from Norwich to Ely then on to London King’s Cross
More details of alternative journey options will be available on the National Rail Enquiries website at nationalrail.co.uk. National Express East Anglia will provide further updates here.
National Express East Anglia customers will be entitled to a refund for the effected day’s travel.