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Friday, 26 July, 2002, 20:58 GMT 21:58 UK
Train strike threat lifted
First North Western logo
First North Western runs around 1,500 trains a day
A strike planned by train drivers on First North Western has been called off after a pay settlement.

Aslef said it had agreed a deal to improve the drivers' salary from 24,000 to 28,000 over the next two years.

The first of three 48-hour strikes was due to start on Sunday.

Further strikes planned for later in the summer are expected to be formally called off by the union's executive next week.

Commonwealth Games

A spokesman for Aslef said: "We are pleased that the drivers have secured a salary of 28,000 without having to take strike action."

Appeals had been made to the union not to go ahead with the industrial action because of the disruption it would have caused to passengers travelling to the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

First North Western managing director Vernon Barker said: "We are delighted that this threat to the Commonwealth Games has been lifted, and that we have been able to sort this out sensibly sitting around a table."

A spokesman added that the deal would mean train drivers will get a 7% pay rise this year, 4% next, and 8% in the third year.

Services on neighbouring train company Arriva Trains Northern were hit on Thursday when members of the Rail Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) walked out in a separate dispute over pay.

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17 Jul 02 | England
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