Train drivers to strike in pay row

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The Independent Online

Train drivers in Wales are to stage a 24-hour strike in a row over pay, with threats of further industrial action, it was announced today.

Aslef said its 500 members at Arriva Trains Wales will walk out on February 28, and will not do any overtime on the previous day.

The union said it expected to announce further strike dates shortly following a ballot of members which showed a 70% vote in favour of strikes and 80% for other forms of industrial action.

Turnout in the ballot was more than 80%.

"The action is in pursuit of an acceptable pay increase, which months of negotiation has failed to provide.

"The general secretary has advised the company's human resources director of the union's decision to take strike action because of the company's failure to provide a satisfactory pay offer," said an Aslef spokesman.

Arriva Trains Wales said in a statement: "We are extremely disappointed by today's announcement that Aslef are planning industrial action on February 28.

"Arriva Trains Wales has made a substantial offer that has been improved several times. The final pay offer which is in excess of 12% over two years brings drivers' salary to £39,117 for a 35 hour four day average week."

Peter Leppard, the company's operations and safety director, said: "Channels of communication remain open and we are continuing to do everything we can to bring this situation to a resolution. We urge Aslef to suspend their action and accept this generous pay offer."

The two sides will meet next Tuesday in a bid to resolve the dispute.