Rail firm warns over Sunday services

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The Independent Travel

A rail company today advised passengers to seek other means of transport on Sunday because of the impact of an overtime ban by its drivers in a row over pay.

London Midland said it was being "held to ransom" by the "unrealistic" demands of Aslef, whose members are refusing to work overtime on Sunday, leading the company to slash the number of services.



The operator said it had been paying its drivers double time to work Sundays, but it was "unsustainable" to continue with the arrangement.



Wallace Weatherill, London Midland's director of operations and safety, said: "London Midland is phasing these temporary Sunday arrangements from double time to time-and-a-half over four months to allow families to budget for the change.



"Our drivers do a demanding and highly responsible job, but our disagreement is with Aslef and its unrealistic demands, rather than individual drivers.



"This orchestrated action comes quickly after Aslef's refusal to work Monday to Saturday overtime, and the union position is totally unreasonable."



London Midland said it will run a limited timetable on Sunday, and advised passengers not to travel unless "absolutely necessary."



Aslef accused London Midland of cutting overtime pay without consultation and said it understood why drivers had decided not to work overtime on Sunday.



District official Mick Whelan said: "We warned the company it would have problems if it reduced overtime pay without negotiation."



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