Posted 8th May 2012 | 1 Comment
Pensions dispute disrupts EMT services
DISRUPTION has been affecting East Midlands Trains as Aslef drivers staged another strike, in protest at proposals to change their pension plans.
Drivers walked out yesterday after two 24-hour stoppages last week, and further walkouts are planned tomorrow as well as on 15 and 17 May, although talks are set to take place.
East Midlands Trains warned that its drivers were gaining nothing by taking action. The operator's HR director Clare McCartney said: "We want to meet now to get this unnecessary dispute resolved. This is a strike over nothing. The average driver will lose around £1,200 in pay by following Aslef’s misguided call.
“We have a strong track record of properly funding pensions and we will continue to do so.”
The union said: 'EMT is telling the media that they are being kind to us by "saving" us £500 a year in money we don’t need to pay into the fund. This is very misleading. We don’t want to cheapen our fund. The company fails to mention that because the pension scheme is "shared cost" they save £750 a year – and so £1,250 less goes into our pension fund. In fact, some £2.1 million.'
Tomorrow's talks had been arranged following 'an approach from the company', said Aslef. Its negotiating team will be led by general secretary Mick Whelan, accompanied by president Alan Donnelly and Dicky Fisher, the full-time officer responsible for EMT.
The strikes mean that a limited service runs on EMT's main line between London and Sheffield, but passengers on many routes are advised to use other operators' trains instead. Replacement buses also run in some areas.
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