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Rail strikes on First TransPennine Express


5:09pm 23rd August 2011
(Updated 7:23am 24th August 2011)


First TransPennine Express (FTPE) is disappointed that talks with the train driver union ASLEF have broken down.

No agreement with ASLEF could be reached although the RMT who represent train conductors and station staff have agreed to suspend strike action.

FTPE is therefore advising customers that the industrial action scheduled for Wednesday 24th August and Friday 26th August is now confirmed and an amended timetable will be in operation.

Full details of the amended timetable between 00:01 and 23:59 on Wednesday 24th August and 00:01 and 23:59 on Friday 26th August are available by visiting www.tpexpress.co.uk/industrialaction.

FTPE is very disappointed that an enhanced overall package has been rejected. The deal would have seen colleagues receiving a phased increased of 5%, with part of that enhancement being back dated and the remaining being rewarded in September.

Vernon Barker, Managing Director of FTPE said;

"Discussions with the unions have been ongoing and we are really disappointed that the unions that represent our colleagues have rejected FTPE's offer. We believe the phased offer which takes salaries up by 5% is fair and reasonable given the current economic climate."

"The decision to take action will affect our customers as we will be running a reduced service. I want to apologise to customers for the actions of ASLEF. The deal we have offered is as good as any in the rail industry and much better than the pay rewards many members of the general public are receiving. This is the wrong decision for every one involved."

"FTPE is a successful business and we have always worked hard to make sure colleagues have shared in that success, rewarding them throughout our franchise with above inflation pay deals. "

Since the FTPE franchise began in 2004 the cost of living has risen by 19.8%. Colleagues have benefited from a minimum pay increase of between 36% and 43% in this time and train drivers are now high income earners, working a 35hr week.

As a result of the industrial action a reduced number of trains will operate between Manchester, Leeds and York and between Manchester and Sheffield. Four services in each direction will operate between Manchester and Edinburgh. Details of how customers can reach other destinations that are usually served by FTPE can be found by visiting www.tpexpress.co.uk/industrialaction.

All reservations have been suspended on FTPE services on both Wednesday 24th and Friday 26th August.

The majority of services operated by FTPE on Wednesday 24th August and Friday 26th August will run as either six carriages or four, which in many cases is double the usual capacity.

Customers are also advised that ticket restrictions have been lifted and customers travelling with an FTPE ticket can re-arrange their journey to travel either 48hrs in advance of the stated date or up to seven days after the conclusion of any industrial action.

Where journey opportunities exist, other operators have also agreed to carry FTPE passengers. Further details including our refund arrangements can be found by visiting www.tpexpress.co.uk/industrialaction.

Customers are advised not to expect their normal level of service and should check the details of their journey before travelling. National Rail Enquiries can be contacted by calling 08457 48 49 50 or by visiting www.nationalrail.co.uk.

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