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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 6 November, 2002, 20:26 GMT
Subway strike deepens
Subway notice
Drivers took unofficial strike action
The subway in Glasgow is to be closed for a second day after bosses sacked 32 of its drivers for taking unofficial strike action.

On Wednesday morning the underground drivers were dismissed when they failed to show up for the start of their shift.

Strathclyde Passenger Transport (SPT) issued the dismissal notices and said it would not tolerate "militant behaviour".

The Transport and General Workers' Union condemned the illegal action, but a senior official said he was "absolutely astonished" by the sackings.

Billboard
SPT said it would not tolerate the wildcat strike

The drivers involved are angry over plans for new staff to be trained as part-time CCTV operators as well as drivers.

SPT, which operate the Glasgow Underground, claimed drivers are refusing to perform normal working duties despite efforts to improve and modernise industrial relations.

A total of 42 drivers were employed by SPT until Wednesday's action, with ten of the 42 currently on a rest day, holiday or on sick leave.

Skeleton service

Moray MacDonald, spokesman for SPT, said it was hoped that a service would be restarted on Friday.

He said there were other people within the organisation who were capable of driving the trains as an alternative to reinstatement of the striking drivers.

Mr MacDonald said: "What we are working on is contingency plans that we will hopefully be able to put in place on Friday which will involve some kind of underground service."

Moray MacDonald
Moray MacDonald said services would be back on Friday

Asked whether the drivers involved in the dispute would get their jobs back, he said: "What we have said is that we have dismissed them and we are certainly not in a position to be giving them their jobs back."

SPT has been in talks with the TGWU for the past 12 months over the training of new drivers - existing drivers were unhappy they had been asked to help train new recruits.

On Wednesday evening SPT management invited TGWU officials to talks in Glasgow on Thursday in an effort to break the dispute.

'No pre-conditions'

The organisation's director of operations Douglas Ferguson said: "SPT wants to see the situation restored to normal as soon as possible so we have invited union representatives to meet with us to discuss ways of avoiding such situations in the future.

"There will be no pre-conditions applied by SPT nor do we expect any from the union."

SPT has laid on replacement buses to assist the 55,000 people who usually travel on the underground each day.

Stations have been opened to provide alternative travel information and parking in underground car parks is free.

Replacement buses ran between Govan and Partick stations, and Shields Road and St Enoch Square.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Moray MacDonald of SPT
"What we have said is that we have dismissed them"
Louise Batchelor reports
"All day long things have been going from bad to worse in this dispute"
See also:

06 Nov 02 | Scotland
06 Nov 02 | Scotland
05 Nov 02 | Scotland
02 Feb 02 | Scotland
31 Jan 02 | Scotland
19 Oct 01 | Scotland
07 Sep 01 | Scotland
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