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23.07.12

EMT awaits Aslef strike decision after ‘progressive’ talks

Train drivers’ union Aslef will decide later today whether strikes planned during the Olympics will go ahead. The dispute concerns East Midlands Trains (EMT) implementing changes to the staff pension.

Aslef has scheduled industrial action for August 6-8, but EMT believes talks held on Friday could lead to the strikes being called off.

Last month, two strike dates were suspended to allow discussions to continue.

Aslef is opposing plans to reduce both staff and firm contributions to the pension fund; a proposal EMT insists would leave drivers £500 a year better off, without affecting their pension benefits.

An EMT spokesperson said: “Progressive talks were held with ASLEF on Friday afternoon and evening. We believe we have addressed the outstanding point raised by the union on the additional pensions benefits proposal and feel we have a way forward.

“We are waiting to hear from ASLEF whether will call off the Olympics strike action. The whole country condemned their threat of strikes during the Games. We remain hopeful that they will call off the strikes.”

Before Friday’s talks, ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan had said: “To cut pension contributions in the current climate is highly irresponsible. This is simply storing up trouble for the next valuation and the future of the scheme. It is disingenuous to suggest our members are getting something for nothing.”

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‘Image c. Alvey & Towers’

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