First Capital Connect strike - insider speaks out

PUBLISHED: 16:45 13 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:39 06 May 2010

A FIRST Capital Connect insider has contacted the Herts Advertiser to put across their side in the ongoing industrial dispute. The rail company is currently running around 50 per cent of its normal timetable because drivers are refusing to do overtime or

A FIRST Capital Connect insider has contacted the Herts Advertiser to put across their side in the ongoing industrial dispute.

The rail company is currently running around 50 per cent of its normal timetable because drivers are refusing to do overtime or work rest days over a pay dispute. They will endeavour to run a normal service on Saturdays and Sundays.

But following damning comments from commuters unhappy with the continuing disruption, the FCC driver, who has requested anonymity for fear of reprisal, contacted the Herts Advertiser with his take on the crisis.

He revealed: "FCC failed to recruit enough drivers to cover natural wastage, retirements and the new routes and rolling stock.

"Their training programme was a shambles and wasn't started early enough. They took money to fund the overtime required to release enough drivers for training but used those rest day workers just to cover an already short-staffed situation."

He explained: "FCC said the problems were a result of ongoing training when in fact all the training had been stopped in a panic measure as drivers stopped being willing to work rest days.

"They deliberately stalled pay talks from last April because they knew they were in a mess and now the drivers simply have had enough of them.

"The drivers bent over backwards to help them with emergency rosters and working arrangements while being fobbed off month after month."

The insider added: "This company has used every trick in the book to hide from the facts, using the recession as an excuse to make cuts and now they have been found out.

"First Group posted record profits and record payments to shareholders and took £150 million in subsidies from the Government, all on the back of their staff's hard work, now they say they can't afford a small recognition of that.

"As the staff have not had a pay rise since April 2008 it is generally considered not unreasonable to expect something this year."

What do you think? Send your comments to hertsad@archant.co.uk

UPDATED SERVICE INFORMATION:

TRAINS INTO LONDON

17:38 Kentish Town to Three Bridges due 18:55

This train will be cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

15:44 Luton to Sutton Surrey due 17:39

This train will be cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

17:18 St Albans City to Sutton Surrey due 18:39

This train will be cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

18:02 St Albans City to Sutton Surrey due 19:39

This train will be cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

16:44 Luton to Sutton Surrey due 18:31

This train will be cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

18:10 Bedford to Brighton due 20:30

This train will be cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

18:02 Luton to Sutton Surrey due 19:36

This train will be cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

18:42 Bedford to Brighton due 20:58

This train will be cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

21:50 Bedford to St Pancras International due 22:52

This train will be cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

18:30 Bedford to Sutton Surrey due 20:35

This train will be cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

19:16 St Albans City to Sutton Surrey due 20:36

This train will be cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

TRAINS FROM LONDON

17:00 Elephant & Castle to St Albans City due 17:49

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

16:36 Sutton Surrey to Bedford due 18:24

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

17:16 Elephant & Castle to Bedford due 18:28

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

16:04 Brighton to London Bridge due 17:02

This train will be cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

16:37 Sutton Surrey to Luton due 18:32

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

16:22 Brighton to Bedford due 18:48

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

17:48 Elephant & Castle to Bedford due 18:58

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

18:09 Elephant & Castle to Bedford due 19:34

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

17:40 Sutton Surrey to St Albans City due 19:05

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

17:09 Brighton to London Bridge due 18:17

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

18:22 Elephant & Castle to Bedford due 19:38

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

17:38 Sutton Surrey to Luton due 19:34

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

17:24 Brighton to Bedford due 19:58

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

18:04 Brighton to Bedford due 20:28

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

18:32 Sutton Surrey to Bedford due 20:40

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

18:40 Sutton Surrey to Luton due 20:30

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

18:34 Brighton to Bedford due 20:50

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

19:27 Three Bridges to Bedford due 21:20

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

19:40 Sutton Surrey to St Albans City due 20:59

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

19:37 Sutton Surrey to Luton due 21:30

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

19:34 Brighton to Bedford due 21:50

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

20:04 Brighton to Bedford due 22:21

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

20:40 Sutton Surrey to St Albans City due 21:59

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

20:37 Sutton Surrey to Luton due 22:30

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

20:34 Brighton to Bedford due 22:50

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

23:04 St Pancras International to Bedford due 00:06

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

23:34 St Pancras International to Bedford due 00:36

This train has been cancelled.This is due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

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