NEWS
19/07/2012 08:53 BST

Three-Day Olympic Strike Planned By East Midlands Train Drivers

Train drivers from the Aslef union have planned to stage a three-day stretch of industrial action during the Olympics in protest over their pensions.

Drivers from East Midlands Trains (EMT) will strike between 6 and 8 August, disrupting service from cities such as Leeds, Nottingham and Sheffield to London St. Pancras at a time when a number of athletics finals will take place at the Olympic Stadium.

The plans were condemned by the company's managing director, David Horne, who said the strikes were "a real kick in the teeth for our customers and the country."

Transport giant Stagecoach, which owns EMT, said the drivers would garner no sympathy from a "shocked and angry' public for causing disruption during a time of "great national pride" for the country.

The union and EMT are clashing over plans to reduce pension contributions, despite other unions agreeing to terms with the train company.

Drivers staged six strikes in May over the pension dispute

While Horne accused the union of "playing games", claiming it accepted an offer in principle last month, Aslef's general secretary, Mick Whelan, insisted the union was simply sticking up for its members.

"To cut pension contributions in the current climate is highly irresponsible," Whelan said.

"Our members face the prospect of either cripplingly high contribution rates or reduced benefits due to a short-term cost-cutting decision made by EMT that has left the scheme in deficit."

Aslef's EMT drivers previously held six strikes in May before calling off two in June to promote further talks.

The strike plans also come a day after bus drivers in London announced they were calling off their strike plans after agreeing to a deal with Transport for London.