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More strike action on Northern Rail

Northern Trains 158 New Look

1:21pm 20th September 2017
(Updated 3:39pm 20th September 2017)

RMT confirms a further two days of strike action on Arriva Rail North in guards' safety dispute.

Members of the union will walk out on the 3rd and 5th of October.

The RMT have issued this statement:

The company have made it clear repeatedly that they are not prepared to discuss the core issue of the second safety-critical person on their trains and will only meet to discuss the terms of the RMT’s surrender on the fundamental issue of Driver Only Operation. A stance that the union has slammed as a total disgrace.

As well as digging their heels in on the crucial issue of the guarantee of a second safety critical member of staff on their trains the company continue to plough on with plans to introduce a minimum of 50% driver controlled operation across the franchise upon the introduction of the new rolling stock without agreement and in the teeth of opposition from the public, politicians and their own staff.

Political support continues to grow for RMT’s campaign against the dangerous, cash-led DOO proposals. The latest act of gross hypocrisy following the Parsons Green bombing Northern Rail have called on staff to be extra vigilant, the same safety critical staff that they are now planning to throw off the trains.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“Yet again we have been confronted with the sheer intransigence of Arriva Rail North and that means that we have no option but to confirm a further round of strike action . The responsibility for the inevitable disruption lies wholly with the company. We are angry and frustrated that Arriva continue to fail to face up to the facts and also continue to ignore a perfectly reasonable union proposal to invite the DfT to join us in round table talks aimed at finding a solution.

“The public, who support RMT’s campaign for a guarantee of a guard on their trains, will be appalled that Arriva Rail North have failed yet again to offer any kind of progress whatsoever in the talks and have instead opted to try and bulldoze through their plans regardless. It is that flagrant disregard for the safety issues at the heart of the dispute which leaves us with no option but to press on with the campaign of strike action.

“RMT commends our Arriva Rail North Members on their rock solid display of strength, resolve and unity during the action so far in opposition to the introduction of driver controlled operation and defence of the guards to guarantee a safer, securer and more accessible railway for all. We have no doubt that they our members will remain united and determined as we prepare for the next phase of action in a fortnight.

“The union continues to remain available for meaningful discussions with the company in order to seek a satisfactory resolution to the on-going dispute.”

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