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East Midlands Trains today (23 July 2012) accused ASLEF of being "hell-bent on disrupting the Olympics" after the union went back on a pensions deal brokered in talks last week and instead pressed ahead with plans for three days of strike action targeted at London 2012.
Management met representatives from the train drivers' union on Friday and addressed the final outstanding issue raised by ASLEF officials. The agreement reached last week was awaiting sign-off from ASLEF's executive committee, but instead the union informed the company it will go ahead with strikes on 6, 7 and 8 August.
The union faced a barrage of criticism from politicians, passengers and the public after the planned action was announced last week.
David Horne, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, said today: "We now know what we have suspected all along. ASLEF is hell-bent on trying to disrupt the Olympics and every time we make progress and reach an agreement the union creates further obstacles. Their behaviour is nothing short of shameful and it speaks volumes that throughout this they have refused to put the deal they agreed to their members.
"The whole country has been united in condemning ASLEF's threat of strikes during the Games and today's news shows we are dealing with a union that cannot keep its promises. If ASLEF does not have a change of heart, it will be remembered long after London 2012 as the union who tainted the pride of Britain in disrupting such a once-in-a-lifetime sporting event."
The pensions offer made to ASLEF has already been accepted by three other trade unions recognised by the company and involves no loss of pensions benefits. These proposals will mean their members will be able to benefit from higher take-home pay and additional pensions benefits.
Mr Horne added: "We are now putting our focus on getting ready for the start of next week’s Games and confirming plans for the services we will be running. We will be able to get people to the Games and home again with the limited service we are planning on the strike days. However, our advice to customers not planning to go to the Games is to re-arrange their journeys for another day if this is possible. We are deeply sorry that ASLEF has let our customers and the whole country down so badly.”
East Midlands Trains has pledged to run as many services as possible during the strike action. This will involve: