East Anglia: Rail strike threat on Greater Anglia services during Olympics

TRAINS between East Anglia and London could be disrupted by strike action during the Olympics in a dispute over bonuses.

Greater Anglia is planning to run extra trains between Norwich and Liverpool Street, to cope with the thousands expected to travel by rail to see the games, which start on July 27.

But rail union the RMT wants extra payments for drivers and platform staff. A number of other rail firms have already struck deals with the union. Staff elsewhere are in line to receive one-off payments of �700 for working during the games.

In a statement, the union said: “RMT has consulted with reps who have rejected the Greater Anglia proposals, which go no way to recognising the massive increase in Olympics-related traffic on the key Greater Anglia rail arteries, and which seek to be deliberately divisive at a time when unity and harmony across the rail workforce is paramount.”

Its general secretary Bob Crow added: “Greater Anglia have deliberately dragged their feet over this crucial issue knowing that the clock is ticking down and they have now confronted us at the eleventh hour with an offer which they knew full well would be totally unacceptable.

“As a consequence we now have no option but to move to an urgent ballot for both strike action and action short of a strike to reinforce our case for a fair and unified settlement.

“There can be no excuse for the cavalier attitude of the company to these negotiations on an essential section of the Olympics transport network, and we would hope that they would now come to their senses and enter into meaningful talks at this late stage.”

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A spokesman for Greater Anglia, which employs 3,000 staff across the region, said: “There will be extra services to the Olympics, we will be running extra trains to Norwich.

“We’re disappointed that the RMT Union is intending to organise a ballot. We will continue to progress the constructive discussions that are taking place over this matter with the RMT and our staff representatives.”

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