Rail strikes suspended

RAIL travellers will be able to take advantage of a near-normal timetable today as strike action was suspended and a deal agreed between the unions and National Express East Anglia.

RAIL travellers will be able to take advantage of a near-normal timetable today as strike action was suspended and a deal agreed between the unions and National Express East Anglia.

Over the past fortnight, the National Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union and Aslef have held two-day strikes in a row over pay and working conditions with railway operator National Express East Anglia (NXEA).

The unions, including the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association have been meeting with mediation agency, ACAS since Monday to try to resolve the issues and avoid further strike action, but earlier this week the talks broke down with Aslef pulling out.

But now further industrial action by the ASLEF union, which started yesterday, has been suspended following an agreement being reached.


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Andrew Chivers, managing director of National Express East Anglia said: “We're pleased to be able to advise our customers that the industrial action by the ASLEF union has been suspended.

“We will endeavour to run the best service possible today, though there may be some residual delays and alterations to services as we restore the normal service.

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“We would like to thank our customers for their patience during the industrial action.”

It is thought a pay deal of 3.5pc over two years, with the potential for a further 0.5pc on top, was reached.

Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, said he would now be consulting with company representatives to give them a final say on the revised deal with a referendum ballot.

He added: “No one should be in any doubt that this improved offer has been won through the commitment and determination of our members on National Express East Anglia to secure a fair deal. It's their sacrifice over the past three weeks that has forced the company's hand and they can be proud of what they have achieved.

Keith Norman, union general secretary for ASLEF, said: “We have hammered out an amicable timetable for the resolution of the industrial relations difficulties which have divided us.

“I also feel that we have secured reasonable pay increases given the general economic climate and the financial position of NXEA.”

More details of services can be found at www.nationalexpresseastanglia.com.

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