Strikes cripple train services

Strikes at Arriva Trains Northern
have crippled services as conductors belonging to the RMT union demand a pay
increase in line a recent driver award of 18 per cent.

Arriva has offered a basic increase
of 3 per cent with a further 5 per cent productivity.

Ray Price, managing director of
Arriva, said he believes the offer is fair: "The RMT has rejected this
offer along with other options we have sought to explore with them, including
using the services of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service,"
he said. "Our conductors are currently well paid. They earn on average
£20,000 a year for an average 42-hour week. Their pay rates are very
competitive compared to other train operating companies and are very
competitive in the communities in which they work."

Last week’s 48-hour strike saw the
company unable to deliver 55 per cent of services. A spokesman for the RMT said
conductors deserve an increase in line with that recently awarded to drivers.
He said another 48-hour strike is planned for 3 and 4 May.

No other talks have been scheduled
between the two sides.

By Quentin Reade

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