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Train strikes continue

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By Christie Breen
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Train strikes continue

DISRUPTIONS to rail services through Lockerbie continue this week.

Train divers in the Aslef union are refusing to work overtime this week in an ongoing dispute over pay.

And members of the Rail Maritime and Transport Workers Union (RMT) begin strike action today.

Both rounds of industrial action will affect the Avanti West Coast and TransPennine Express services which call at Lockerbie station.

This is the second time this month Aslef members are refusing to work on rest days with both operators warning there could be disruption.

Similar industrial action is also planned for the week of July 31.

ASLEF’s general secretary, Mick Whelan said: “We don’t want to take this action. We don’t want people to be inconvenienced. But the blame lies with the train companies, and the government which stands behind them, which refuse to sit down and talk to us and have not made a fair and sensible pay offer to train drivers who have not had one for four years.

“We haven’t sat down with the government since Friday January 6. That shows how little the companies and the government care about passengers and staff. They appear content to let this drift on and on.

“In contrast, we want a resolution. A fair resolution. That’s why we are taking this action, to try to bring things to a head.”

A Department of Transport spokesperson said: “Government has played its part by facilitating a fair and reasonable pay offer that would see train drivers’ already high salaries increase from an average of £60,000 to £65,000.”

RMT members are due to strike today and on Saturday as their dispute continues.

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