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East Midlands Trains has pledged to continue running as many services as possible for passengers despite inconsiderate strike action called by the Unite union which is set to cost employees around £2,000 each in lost wages.
Industrial action will take place by train maintenance staff belonging to the Unite union from 06:00 on Sunday 28 September to 05:59 on Saturday 4 October.
Unite members were offered a 2.5% pay increase in June, which was increased to an above inflation offer of 2.75% in July. The same offer was accepted by customer service staff at the end of July, and nearly 1,000 employees are already benefitting from higher take-home pay.
But Unite pressed ahead with four days of strike action involving engineers during July, despite being advised by East Midlands Trains that it would result in the 2.75% pay offer being withdrawn.
The latest action comes of the back of East Midlands Trains confirming that the engineering staff pay increase will now be the greater of 2.4% - the current rate of inflation measured by RPI - or £550 (equivalent to 3.3% for the lowest paid grades of staff).
Clare Burles, Human Resources Director for East Midlands Trains, said: "Unite's planned action is completely unnecessary. It clearly has no thought for the impact on employees' families of losing thousands of pounds in lost wages, particularly a few months before the run up to Christmas.
"The union action is particularly irresponsible after the very fair pay offers we have made and which other staff have been happy to accept. We have been flexible in putting forward further reasonable offers, but they have all been rejected by the union. More strike action will only reduce the amount of money available to fund a pay increase and hit the people whose interests the union is supposed to put first.
"Our door remains open to meet Unite directly for sensible talks. We urge the union to think carefully about its position and understand that it needs to start considering a compromise to put an end to this illogical strike action. East Midlands Trains is an integral part of the wider East Midlands economy and community and we are also determined to keep running services to minimise the disruption for local people who rely on our trains to get to work and get around the country."
A revised timetable will operate from Sunday 28 September until Saturday 4 October. Details of the revised timetable will be available at eastmidlandstrains.co.uk from Friday 26 September.
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