THE fourth in a series of rail strikes affecting Boston passengers is being held today – with rail bosses labelling it a ‘strike over nothing’.
A series of six strike days was called by the train drivers union ASLEF over changes to the pension fund made by East Midlands Trains, which runs services in the town.
Arrangements made by EMT during the strike days mean:
*there are replacement buses from Boston to Nottingham call at Heckington, Sleaford, Grantham and Bingham
*buses from Boston to Grantham call at Sleaford and Heckington only
*passengers wanting to go to Skegness can use their train tickets on the Stagecoach Interconnect 7 bus
*there are no trains or replacement bus services at Netherfield, Radcliffe, Aslockton, Elton & Orston, Bottesford, Ancaster, Rauceby, Swineshead or Hubberts Bridge
The same arrangements should stand on the remaining strike days, on May 15 and 17.
The train firm says it is disappointed with ASLEF for not holding further talks to end the strikes before this afternoon.
Clare McCartney, HR 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.
“This is a strike over nothing. The average driver will lose around £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. When additional contributions were required in recent years, we paid our share and more.
“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.”