Train drivers’ strike under way

Nearly
700 train drivers have staged the first of three walk-outs in a dispute over
disciplinary action.

Commuters
are facing severe disruption after train operator First North Western cancelled
all services due to a 24-hour strike by members of the train drivers’ union
Aslef.

Last
month, union members voted by more than 10 to one in favour of strikes after a
long-running dispute about the downgrading and dismissals of a number of its
members. Two more strikes are planned for Friday and next Monday.

The
dispute was triggered by the sacking of a driver who went through two
consecutive red lights. However, Aslef said it is also protesting against harsh
treatment of other members as well.

First
North Western apologised for any delays to customers, but says it had no option
but to dismiss the driver concerned as safety is paramount.

By Quentin Reade

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