Talks are taking place today to try to avert further pay-related strikes by National Express East Anglia train staff, the BBC has reported.
Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) and Aslef unions walked out for 48 hours last week.
Another two-day strike is planned for this Thursday, potentially affecting services in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. The Stansted airport service would also be affected, along with routes into London.
Andrew Chivers, managing director of National Express East Anglia, said: “The unions’ demands are totally unrealistic, especially in this current economic climate. Strike action is unnecessary, simply not the solution and I would like to apologise to our customers.”
The unions claim National Express had offered “peanuts” with only a 0.5% pay rise or a lump sum of £200 to East Anglia employees.
Meanwhile, workers on the country’s most extensive railway network have launched a month-long campaign of industrial action, including refusing to pick up litter from trains.
Staff on Arriva Cross Country, which covers 1,400 miles of railway and more than 100 stations from Aberdeen to Penzance, Bournemouth to Manchester and Stansted to Cardiff, will ban overtime and take other forms of action short of a strike, according to the Press Association.