Leeds rail staff to down tools for four days amid pay row

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A FOUR-day strike by staff from East Midlands Trains (EMT) in both Leeds and the Midlands is due to take place from tomorrow in a dispute over pay.

Some services will operate with fewer carriages as around 80 staff at the firm’s Neville Hill Depot, in Osmondthorpe, join engineering and maintenance colleagues in Derby and Nottingham in a walk-out from Sunday at 6am until Thursday at 6am.

Unite regional officer Mick Millichamp told the YEP that 160 to 170 staff nationwide would be involved in the strike which is likely to disrupt the ‘get away weekend’ as schools break up for the summer holidays.

It comes after Unite union members rejected a 2.75 per cent pay increase for 2014-15.

EMT has stated its disappointment at the union members’ decision to strike, describing its pay offer as “very reasonable and fair”.

Mr Millichamp said: “Our members have worked hard for this company adapting to the many changes asked of them.

“However, they were very disappointed with the current paltry pay offer, now withdrawn, at a time when household bills are going through the roof.”

He said workers felt “undervalued” as other groups of EMT staff had received greater improvements to their terms and conditions, particularly after they did extensive work last year.

The majority of affected services are expected to run as normal although replacement bus services will run on some routes.

Tim Sayer, EMT’s engineering director, said: “This action will ultimately hit the pockets of Unite’s members and will see no winners. We have put forward a very reasonable and fair offer to our engineering staff.”

He said the firm is extremely surprised its offer was rejected by staff, who represent around 10 per cent of its workforce.

Visit www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk to view EMT’s revised timetable.

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