Saturday, 29 August 2009

Cancellations Caused By Staff Not Turning Up For Work

Reports in the media are suggesting that the significant number of cancellations today - over 40 - has been caused by staff simply not turning up for work. This is often one of the busiest weekends of the year but NXEA have had to cancel many trains for what was originally described as an 'operating incident'. However an NXEA spokeswoman later revealed the cause was down to 'unavailability of staff'.

Increased Offer For National Express

National Express (NX) has received an increased takeover offer from its largest shareholder. The improved offer from the Spanish Cosmen family, backed by buy-out firm CVC, reportedly values NX at nearly £700 million - a value close to that which the board is thought to place on the business.

However NX directors are thought to be still canvassing other shareholders on whether to follow up on on the offer or go it alone and pursue a £350 million rights issue of new shares as an alternative strategy for reducing its £977 million debt mountain.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Train Fares Set To Fall in 2010

Regulated rail fares including season tickets are set to fall by 0.4% next year after the Retail Price Index (RPI) - a key inflation indicator - was measured at -1.4% in July. Increase in regulated commuter fares are pegged to the RPI figure plus 1%.

In 2010 the rules on regulated fares will change, with most rail companies having the limit of RPI plus 1% imposed on them. Previously train operators have been allowed to increase individual regulated fares by as much as 6% over the RPI rate.

Specific details regarding NXEA fares will be announced in due course.

Extra Services for V Festival

Extra services are being laid on by NXEA on both Saturday the 22nd and Sunday 23rd August for the V Festival at Chelmsford. Details can be found on the NXEA website.

Bank Holiday Service Disruption

Passengers are advised to allow for longer journey times when travelling over the bank holiday weekend. Work on overhead lines, testing of new signalling equipment and ongoing work on the Stratford transport hub in preparation for the 2012 Olympics, means that the line will be closed between Liverpool Street and Stratford, Witham and Manningtree and Colchester Town.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Friday, 14 August 2009

Strike Action Over

Old news now, but just to confirm that Aslef, RMT and the TSSA unions have called off all planned strike action.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Aslef Call Off Strike

Aslef, the train driver's union, has called off their strike scheduled for Friday 14th August. Media reports suggest that a 3.5% offer over 2 years has been accepted. The RMT have also indicated that are likely to accept the offer.

Week Long Strikes Threatened

As the third 48 hour strike by RMT, Aslef and TSSA members takes hold, Aslef are now threatening week long strikes next month. Another 48 hour strike is already threatened for next Thursday 20th and Friday 21st August.

The move by Aslef comes as a union spokesman said that talks with NXEA had become "increasingly fractious and unproductive".

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Strike Action Confirmed

NXEA have confirmed that strike action will go ahead on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th August. Details of the few services running can be found at the NXEA website.

Assistance Needed....

The unions involved in the current dispute with NXEA are saying that their issues are over 'pay and conditions'. Whilst there is much talk in the media about the pay dispute, specific details of the other differences with NXEA are sketchy, even at this stage, with very woolly comments being made.

If you are one of the strikers and would like to expand upon what the issues actually are then please contact the Manningtree Rail Users Association, in confidence, on info@mrua.org .

Strike Talks Continue

Talks to try and resolve the strike of RMT, Aslef and now TSSA members working for NXEA continue today.

As it stands, the third strike in as many weeks is due to take place tomorrow and Friday. Previous weeks have seen only a very few services running during these strikes.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Apologies....

Apologies for this site not being available for a while this morning. Problems at the domain name registration provider which they now seem to have resolved.

Strike Talks To Continue

Talks between the three striking rail unions - RMT, Aslef and new this week, the TSSA - resume today in the hope that a settlement can be reached before the next round of strikes scheduled for Thursday and Friday of the this week.

Confusion still exists as to the specific reasons for the strike with contradictory messages being sent out by the individual unions and NXEA. The more general reasons being given are pay and conditions but the specifics are still thin on the ground even at this stage.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

NXEA Strike Update

NXEA are reporting that they have invited ACAS to help in resolving the dispute with the RMT, Aslef and TSSA. However none of the trade unions are now prepared to talk further until Monday. NXEA are also reporting that they have asked the unions to suspend industrial action whilst talks continue and to also present NXEA's revised offer to their members but both requests have been refused.

The TSSA are not taking part in the strike today and tomorrow but if a resolution is not reached they will be joining the planned strikes on the 13th and 14th August.

Aslef are disputing media reports regarding their pay claim saying that they have never stated that they demand a minimum pay increase of 2.5%. Similarly they say claims that they have demanded 4% more drivers are untrue.

In a TV interview tonight RMT leader Bob Crow gave out no real details to justify strike action, giving added weight to the growing media and public perception that their motives are perhaps more politically driven.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Planned Strike To Go Ahead

The planned 48 hour strike by NXEA workers will be going ahead tomorrow (Thur) and Friday after talks aimed at resolving the row over pay and conditions ended unsuccessfully today.

It is expected that a service will run similar to last week's when only 100 trains out of the usual 1,800 services ran. Trains running later on today may be affected as may some services on Saturday. Revised service details can be found on the NXEA website.

Neil Skinner, from the Manningtree Rail Users Association spoke on BBC Look East saying that many people do not fully understand why the strikes are taking place with the unions giving few details of the specific issues they have with NXEA. Click here

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

A Third Union To Join Strike?

Senior managers belonging to a third rail union and working for NXEA have voted to join the planned 48-hour strike by Aslef and RMT members on Thursday.

Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) said that 75% of 100 senior staff who took part in the ballot backed strike action.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Strike Action - Ticket Refunds

Holders of Monthly and Annual Season Tickets who were unable to travel as a consequence of strike action will be entitled to claim a refund for the days affected.

A specific Claims form will be available via the NXEA website once the industrial action has ended. Delay Repay forms will not be accepted by NXEA for claims related to the strike action.

Talks To End Strikes

Talks are scheduled to take place today between National Express and the unions in an attempt to avert further strikes. Following strike action last Thursday and Friday, further strikes are planned by the Aslef and RMT unions for 6th - 7th, 13th - 14th and 20th - 21st August.