DELAYS in pensions talks between East Midlands Trains and drivers’ union Aslef will mean more unnecessary disruption for passengers.
That was the message yesterday from the train company, which said it was disappointed that the union has refused to meet for talks before further strikes scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday next week.
Drivers went on strike twice this week after East Midlands Trains announced changes to its pension scheme.
Clare McCartney, human resources director for East Midlands Trains, said: “We want to meet now to get this unnecessary dispute resolved.
“We share the frustration of our passengers that there will be more unnecessary disruption for people who rely on rail services because Aslef is not sitting down with us now to resolve these issues and we will not meet until Thursday afternoon next week.
“This is a strike over nothing. The average driver will lose about £1,200 in pay by following Aslef’s misguided call for six days of strike action.
“We do not believe it is right to force drivers to pay £500 a year more in pension contributions than independent experts and the scheme’s trustees say is needed.
“We have a strong track record of properly funding the pensions of our employees and we will continue to do so.
“We are happy to reassure Aslef that there will be no changes to drivers’ pension benefits and proper safeguards are in place for our people and their pensions.”
There will be a limited service from the county’s stations during the strikes.
For further information go to www.eastmidlandstrains.com.