First Great Western Strike

Published: August 29, 2015

First Great Western Strike, A number of rail services have been cancelled on day one of a three-day strike by First Great Western staff.

Industrial action, the result of a dispute over the introduction of new high-speed trains, has affected routes in south-west England and Wales.

The rail company said it was running 70% of services as normal.

It said it has told the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union there will be no job losses, but the RMT said “basic assurances” had not been given.

Talks between the two failed to avert the strike.

Most First Great Western (FGW) services, which run between London Paddington and south Wales and south-west England are still running although some are on amended timetables.

Some trains may be very busy over the next three days, and last train services are likely to leave “significantly earlier” than usual, the operator warned – but said today it hoped to keep services running at the same level for the rest of the weekend.

Some passengers took to Twitter complaining about delays.

Steve Hill wrote: “Picking a bank holiday weekend for a strike is just vindictive. Who actually wins? #Disgrace”.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said it had been left with “no option” but to strike.

“Despite strenuous and continuing efforts by our negotiators we have not been able to secure the kind of progress we hoped for in the key areas of jobs, services and safety for us to reach an agreement,” he said.

An FGW spokesman accused the union of unfairly inconveniencing passengers and asking members to go without pay despite a “series of concessions” on the firm’s part.

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