Train drivers from the Aslef union and passport officials threaten major disruptions to the London Olympics in protest over their pensions.
It is expected that train drivers from East Midlands Trains (EMT) will strike between 6 and 8 August – when a number of athletics finals will be held in the Olympic Stadium. This will affect the main line connecting the Midlands to Euston – a line expected to be very busy during the Games.
ASLEF leader Mick Whelan blamed the strike action on East Midlands Trains’ cost-cutting.
“To cut pensions in the current climate is highly irresponsible. It is widely believed that the (pension) funds assets have dramatically decreased since the last valuation.
The drivers staged six strikes in May in protest at changes to their pensions but called off two further stoppages in June to allow further talks.
More talks have been arranged for tomorrow.
The news comes as the Public and Commercial Services Union announced thousands of Home Office workers, including Border Agency staff, are to strike on July 26 and take other forms of action until August 20 in a row over jobs, pay and other issues.
PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka defended the threat of disruption, saying government cuts were leaving Home Office services – such as border control – seriously understaffed.
Jeremy Hunt, the top government official handling the Olympics, said he was “absolutely confident” that the government would be able to minimize any disruption.
Heathrow is expecting 120,000 arrivals every day next week.