Rail strike latest: East Midlands Trains bosses feel they have “a way forward” in dispute with ASLEF over planned August strikes

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EAST MIDLANDS Trains (EMT) bosses have descibed talks with union members as “progressive” after a crunch meeting over a planned three-day strike in August during the Olympics.

If it goes ahead the planned ASLEF strike, which would take place on August 6, 7 and 8, is likely to have an impact on services in and out of Skegness at the height of the summer tourist season.

Although it is still not known what service provsiion would be provided by EMT during any strike action, earlier industrial action saw no rail services operate beyond Boston. There were no bus replacement services either.

EMT has also gone on record as saying they would give priority to travel in and out of London for the Olympics, should the strike go ahead.

However, although any strike is likely to have a damaging impact on rail-going holidaymakers heading for Skegness, there is hope that the action may yet be called off following EMT’s latest statement yesterday (Saturday).

Describing the latest meeting between ASLEF and rail bosses on Friday, an EMT spokesman said: “Progressive talks were held with ASLEF on Friday afternoon and evening.

“We believe we have addressed the outstanding point raised by the union on the additional pensions benefits proposal and feel we have a way forward.

“We are waiting to hear from ASLEF whether will call off the Olympics strike action.

“The whole country condemned their threat of strikes during the Games. We remain hopeful that they will call off the strikes.”

The strike action was announced last week following an ongoing dispute over pensions.

EMT plans to cut the amount of money its drivers contribute into their pension pot.

ASLEF members have slammed the move, which they feel will create financial difficulties for their members when they retire. But EMT has defended its plans and claims the move will leave rail drivers better off, with staff set to take more money home in their monthly pay as a result.