Northern Rail train drivers vote to strike over pay

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Train services could grind to a halt after Northern Rail drivers voted for a strike over pay.

Train drivers’ union ASLEF has called strikes on November 21 and 27 after its members voted for industrial action by an 82 per cent majority.

ASLEF said its members at Northern Rail were among the lowest paid train drivers in the UK, with wages between £10,000 and £15,000 lower than at other companies.

Tosh McDonald, ASLEF’S national vice president, said: “The result of this is people are leaving to work for other companies and there is a shortage of drivers at Northern Rail.

“People are really frustrated that their pay has been bouncing along the bottom for years.”

Drivers rejected a two-year deal of 2.7 per cent backdated to April, then 2.5 per cent next year or the Retail Prices Index (rpi) measure of inflation, whichever is higher.

Northern Rail said it was disappointed at the vote for strike action.

Its human resources director Adrian Thompson said: “We are in continuing discussions with ASLEF and have already planned to meet next week in the hope of resolving the situation.”