23 August 2011, 17:24
Train drivers at First TransPennine Express are to walk out on strike in a row over pay disrupting services in and out of Manchester.
The drivers' union Aslef said its 300 members will walkout tomorrow and again on Friday, disrupting services on three main routes across the North of England.
The company runs trains between Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, York, Sheffield, Doncaster, the North East and the Lake District, with trains expected to be used by fans travelling to this weekend's music festival in Leeds.
Aslef official Nicky Whitehead accused the company of turning down a union offer to continue talks and involve the conciliation service Acas.
'I am appalled at the way that managers slammed the door shut after talks this morning. We felt we were making progress and offered to continue the talks. They said no. We offered to suspend the action and involve the conciliation service Acas. They said no.
'Given this brick wall style of negotiation, the dispute will now go ahead.'
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said:
'This offer is a significant improvement on the previous 2.2% and the RMT executive has today suspended action by conductors and station grades so that it can be considered by our company council reps.
'There is no doubt whatever that this improved offer has been tabled only because our members threatened strike action, and they are to be congratulated for standing firm, and the final decision will quite rightly rest with them.'