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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 January 2006, 20:58 GMT
Virgin says strike failed to bite
Virgin Voyager trains
Virgin Cross Country passengers could face disruption every Sunday
Virgin Cross Country says it has managed to run 91 of its 123 planned rail services, despite a strike over Sunday pay rates by guards.

The RMT union says 300 of its members took part in the 24-hour walkout which began at midnight on New Year's Day.

The RMT claims the introduction of a 35-hour week has led to its members losing money.

However the company says its pay rates are among the most generous in the industry, at over 13 an hour.

Virgin Cross Country's managing director, Chris Gibb said 98% of trains that had run had arrived on time and office managers had helped achieve a near-normal service.

"Many of them are experienced guards," he said. "Others have wide-ranging experience and many years of operating trains - they're very safe and they've obviously done a good job."

The union says Sunday pay rates have been cut by nearly 6% despite a deal to bring in a 35-hour working week without loss of pay.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: "The company can settle this dispute by restoring the full value of Sunday pay rates but if they do not they face the prospect of our members stopping work every Sunday."

Virgin Cross Country is also allowing people with tickets dated for 1 January to travel on 2 or 3 January instead.

The firm has called the RMT's decision to strike "disappointing".

Planned industrial action by conductors on Central Trains over Christmas and New Year was called off last week.




SEE ALSO:
Trains 'will run' despite strike
28 Dec 05 |  Derbyshire
Overtime ban hits train services
21 Dec 05 |  England
No drivers means no Sunday trains
16 Dec 05 |  West Midlands
Changes aim to boost punctuality
10 Dec 05 |  Nottinghamshire
Rail station gets festive revamp
10 Dec 05 |  West Midlands
Week of rail misery comes to end
10 Nov 05 |  Staffordshire


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