Eurostar drivers start 48-hour strike but train managers accept deal

Eurostar train drivers have started a 48-hour strike today, while the company’s managers, also due to join the strike, have called off their action.

Train drivers’ union Aslef has said up to 70 drivers will strike today and tomorrow, while the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) has now accepted a new deal with Eurostar for its 20 train managers.

The strikes were sparked by the declining value of employees’ international expenses allowances, as the value of sterling has fallen compared with the euro.

Allowances had been increased in line with UK inflation, but this had not matched the change in the exchange rate.

As part of the deal with Eurostar, managers will receive a one-off payment of more than £600 to compensate for lost earnings caused by the weak pound.

The TSSA said further strikes planned for 26 and 27 December have also been cancelled.

Gerry Doherty, the TSSA’s general secretary, said: “We always wanted a negotiated settlement rather than disrupting the cross-channel travel plans of thousands of passengers over the Christmas period.”

A Eurostar spokesman said: “We are please that the TSSA has accepted this offer which we believe to be reasonable.

“We have informed Aslef that this offer remains on the table. We hope our UK train drivers see that this is a fair resolution to the dispute and abandon their proposed strike.”

Eurostar said it would still be able to run a normal service by relying on French and Belgian drivers, the BBC reported.

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