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Train depot strike could last for up to two weeks

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 26, 2014

26/03/14 Possible pickets Pickets at Bombardier Central Rivers depot, Branston....Info - Mick Stevens (Unite) - 07958 511574

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INDUSTRIAL action at a train depot near Burton could see workers behind the picket line for the next two weeks.

Production workers at Bombardier’s Central Rivers maintenance depot, in Barton under Needwood, downed tools at midnight last night over changes to employee work patterns that they claim will force them to work 70 per cent of their shifts at night time causing ‘massive disruption to the workers’ family lives’.

Unite members have now begun an escalating programme of industrial action beginning with a 12-week ban on overtime, followed by 14 days of strike action which began yesterday.

The Mail understands that further talks took place between union chiefs and the firm on Monday but no resolution was reached,

Unite regional officer Mick Stevens said: “The workforce is understandably furious that Bombardier is imposing more night work on them and causing massive disruption to their family lives.

“Because of Bombardier’s refusal to be reasonable, its clients now face significant disruption. It’s time for the company to get back around the negotiating table and recognise that its workforce have lives.”

The action will cause significant disruption to the servicing, repairs and maintenance of Virgin and CrossCountry trains.

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 was 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 industrial action continues we will work closely with our customers to ensure disruption to their business is kept to a minimum.”

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