Posted 11th November 2015 | 2 Comments

Last ditch talks to avert strike on Arriva Trains Wales

LAST ditch talks are reported to be taking place today in a bid to avert a 48-hour strike of Arriva Trains Wales drivers. If the action goes ahead from midnight, most lines in Wales will have no trains again until Saturday. Some services to and from England will also be disrupted.

The dispute concerns pay and conditions, and members of both the RMT and ASLEF are set to walk out unless a last minute settlement can be agreed.

Arriva Trains Wales HR director Gareth Thomas said he is expecting further talks today, but an ASLEF spokesman told BBC Wales that his union had not been invited.

The details of the current offer and claims are not being published, but the RMT said the dispute involved working conditions, and that it wanted to reduce 'driver fatigue'. It also wants the pay of ATW drivers increased to match the rates being paid elsewhere in Britain.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "Our members on Arriva Trains Wales are furious over management's failure to improve working conditions and safety and to reduce fatigue. That failure has left us with no option but to take action and send a message that the union will refuse to stand by and allow ATW staff to be treated with such complete contempt over the fundamental issues of pay and safe working conditions."

ATW has apologised for the potential disruption in advance, and warned that alternative road transport will not be available if its trains don't run. It said: "We are continuing to do all we can to avert strike action, however we are advising customers to make alternative travel arrangements for these days."

A full ATW strike would mean that the only trains still running in Wales would be Virgin services from Crewe and Chester along the north Wales coast to Bangor and Holyhead, and Great Western Railway services in south Wales between London, Newport, Cardiff and Swansea.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • D.Roberts, New Tredegar

    Arriva have said publicly :
    "The pay offer includes, generous above inflation 3 year pay deal with a 2.5% increase in year, reducing the maximum working day to nine hours and 30 minutes from 10 hours, 30 minutes and an agreement to conduct a feasibility study into improving rest break arrangements."
    They said the current base salary for a driver is 43,869 which will rise to 44,966.
    [Thank you, that is useful. What is your source? Is it Arriva corporate rather than ATW?--Editor.]

  • J. Campbell, Birmingham

    What about Cross- Country services to Cardiff

    [Quite right. -- Editor.]