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EMT train drivers walk out in pensions dispute

East Midlands Trains has pledged to keep some key services running despite ASLEF’s planned strike action. The train drivers’ union voted for industrial action on the 1, 3, 8, 10, 15 and 17 of May following confirmation from East Midlands Trains that pension contributions made by employees and the company will go down from July.

The train operating company suggests that this will save train drivers around £500 a year, without affecting any of the benefits associated with this, but ASLEF condemned it as a “short term cost cutting” and said it will have “long term implications for all EMT staff and their pensions”.

David Horne, managing director for East Midlands Trains, said: “Pension contributions made by our employees will reduce from July this year. This is good news for our staff and will have no impact on their pension benefits. It follows recommendations from a recent pension valuation, which is an independent financial health check on the scheme. We have written to our employees to explain the forthcoming changes and the background.
“It makes ASLEF’s stance difficult to understand and we are surprised that our train drivers are planning to take industrial action over this matter. We cannot see how ASLEF’s demands, to continue with higher pension contributions when they are not required, are in the best interests of their members.”

Passengers with prebooked tickets for a service on one of the days affected by industrial action will be able to travel via an alternative train or bus, travel the day before or after their existing ticket is valid, or receive a full refund.

The services that will run on affected days are:

· An hourly service fromDerbytoLondonwill run for the majority of the day. These services will call at all stations, with some services extended through toSheffield.

· A train shuttle service will run from Nottingham to Leicester to connect in with services through toLondon

· A train shuttle service will run fromNottinghamto Grantham.

· Rail replacement road services will also be provided on a number of routes and other train operators will be accepting East Midlands Trains tickets.

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