Two-day rail strike hits East Anglia rail services

Workers on one of the main rail lines into London have today begun another two-day strike in a long-running dispute over pay and conditions, reports Reuters.

Rail operator National Express East Anglia (NXEA) said it would run only a very limited service and most of its trains in and out of Liverpool Street mainline station would be cancelled on Thursday and Friday.

It is the third strike involving staff from three unions, ASLEF, the RMT and TSSA, and another 48-hour stoppage is planned for August 20.

National Express East Anglia said the unions had asked for an “unrealistic” 2.5% pay rise and a four-day working week for all its members.

The company’s managing director Andrew Chivers said: “We are extremely disappointed that the ASLEF and RMT unions have called this industrial action over their salary demands, despite lengthy negotiations where we have offered the unions a salary increase above the rate of inflation.”

“In the present economic environment – where many companies are freezing pay at current levels – we believe the offers we have made are both realistic and appropriate.”

However, ASLEF General Secretary Keith Norman said: “The company seems to live on another planet.

“Train drivers voted by 95% to 5% to back industrial action: the RMT vote was of a similar level and this week the TSSA has joined the three-week dispute.”

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