Derbyshire passengers face disruption as East Midlands Railway conductors call three strike days

Passengers are set to face disruption on East Midlands Railway services after conductors voted for strike action.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 11:13 am

Senior conductors with rail union RMT are set to strike in a row over new contracts.

Members backed a ballot for industrial action, with staff set to walk out on Sundays, May 16, 23 and 30.

East Midlands Railway, which operates inter-city trains between London and Sheffield, via Chesterfield, as well as regional services from Norwich to Liverpool, via Chesterfield, and Matlock-Derby, said it was “shocked and disappointed” by the decision. which will hit its regional services, athough it stressed “inter-city services are not affected”.

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The RMT said EMR was imposing contracts “that include a reduction of £5,500 in the first year of employment and are also rostering additional hours expected to be worked that are explicitly against the terms and conditions”.

Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said: “EMR has refused to stop enforcing these inferior contracts for some train guards which have been resisted for years. The patience of members has now reached its limit.

“The union remains available for talks to resolve this dispute.”

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East Midlands Railway's regional service are set to be hit by strike action on Sunday.

‘Extremely disappointing’

However, EMR said it had made three offers to RMT members and it was “extremely disappointing that instead of resuming discussions they have chosen instead to take strike action”.

Will Rogers, EMR managing director, said: “This strike action comes at a time of national recovery, when the Government is paying billions of pounds to keep trains running and protect jobs.

“It is also purposefully timed to coincide with the first day of a new timetable which provides more services and more seats to help support the region’s recovery.

“Combined, this decision damages our ability to support the East Midlands’ recovery from the Covid pandemic and attract people back to the railway.

“Our priority is to provide safe and sustainable journeys for our customers. That includes encouraging passengers back to the railway, so we can return to being a growing industry which provides jobs and transport. It is clear this is not the RMT’s priority.

“We are confident in our contingency arrangements to ensure our services continue to operate and help those customer who need to travel, to continue to do so."

EMR said temporary timetables will be published shortly and passengers are advised to check before their journey.

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