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BREAKING: Train staff could strike over working conditions

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 24, 2014

Bombardier Trains Central Rivers depot

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STRIKE action at a train depot near Burton could be set to take place tomorrow over changes to employee work patterns.

Staff at Bombardier’s Central Rivers maintenance depot, in Barton under Needwood, could walk out after talks over proposed changes to ‘improve efficiencies’ between bosses and union chiefs broke down.

The Canadian-owned firm revealed to the Mail that it now had received written conformation that staff intended to strike, but bosses are still hopeful of a ‘positive outcome’ to continuing discussions.

A spokesman for the firm said: “Bombardier Transportation has been in consultations with its employees and their unions since May 2013, concerning proposed changes to the working roster at our Central Rivers depot with a view to improving efficiencies relating to the changing requirements of our customers’ business.

“To date we have been unable to reach agreement with our employees on the detail of these proposed changes. The intention of industrial action has been confirmed in writing to us on March 19, 2014.

“We continue to hold discussions with the unions and hope to reach a positive outcome.

“If, however, industrial action goes ahead we will work closely with our customers to ensure disruption to their business is kept to a minimum.”

The latest threat of strike action comes less than two years after hundreds of employees downed tools as part of a row over pay-related problems.

However, further action was called off after members accepted a deal which saw Bombardier pay a cash sum of £730 to all its depot workers, in lieu of a percentage pay increase.

A series of six walk-outs, along with a continuous overtime ban, were originally called.

The offer meant lower-paid workers benefited, while those on a higher pay scale were to lose out.

Despite efforts to contact them by the Mail, union representatives did not respond to requests for a comment.

The Bombardier depot services trains for operators Virgin and Arriva Cross Country.

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