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Friday, 21 December, 2001, 09:37 GMT
Pre-Christmas strikes hit Eurostar
Eurostar trains
Eurostar promises enough capacity for travellers
Cross-channel rail firm Eurostar has cancelled 12 trains on Friday amid two separate strikes over pay.

On Thursday three services were cut because of a strike by train drivers of French National Railways (SNCF) at Lille.

Friday cancellations
05.15 London-Paris
05.50 London-Brussels
08.01 Brussels-London
08.23 London-Paris
10.19 Paris-London
11.01 Brussels-London
12.19 Paris-London
16.27 London-Brussels
17.01 Brussels-London
17.23 London-Brussels
17.43 Paris-London
19.19 Paris-London

Their industrial action is set to continue until Sunday.

On Friday they are being joined by some train managers in London, who are staging a 24-hour strike.

Eurostar management said there was nothing to talk about with the London unions, and held out no prospect of averting their industrial action.

The company says passengers will be able to travel on the other 43 services still running on Friday.

Mind the gap

The London-based Eurostar train managers want higher pay to bring them in line with drivers.

They have rejected a 3% pay offer made in October.

Drivers can earn 40,000 a year, while train managers get between 23,000 and 24,000, according to the union which represents both groups.

"When Eurostar was established the differential between train managers and train drivers was 5,000 to 6,000 a year. Now the gap has widened to about 17,000," said Andrew Murray, a spokesman for the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (Aslef).

Eurostar says it agreed to a higher award for drivers because of recruitment problems.

"It's all to do with the market...we had a recruitment and retention problem with drivers," said Mr Harrsion.

Train managers are only allowed to drive within the Channel Tunnel, which has different regulations from other sections of Eurostar's routes.

See also:

15 Jan 01 | Business
Hatfield costs Railtrack 580m
20 Nov 00 | Business
Eurotunnel drivers on strike
16 Jan 01 | Business
Eurostar revenue rises
18 Dec 01 | Business
Eurostar workers to strike
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