Northern Rail staff announces further 24-hour strikes over Guards and rail safety

By Ben Higgins

Northern has announced there were will be further 24-hour strikes next month due to staff walkouts over guard and rail safety.

The Rail, Maritime and transport Union (RMT) confirmed there would be at least three new strike days next month, falling on August 25, September 1 and September 8, all during the weekend.

The strikes are due to disagreements over the proposed driver-only operated trains, with staff feared for their on-board safety.

In July, Northern Rail was again in the headlines after causing chaos by cancelling 35 trains in one day, 30 of which were heading to Manchester airport.

Richard Allan, deputy-managing director of Northern Rail, called the new strike dates “disappointing and frustrating”.

Mr Allan said the strikes came despite Northern having proposed and entered into a joint working party with RMT, and described the strikes as a “blow to our customers”.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said the RMT committed to talks: “in good faith” with Northern Rail.

Instead of making progress towards a settlement that matches the best practice in the rail industry as negotiated elsewhere the company have opted instead to play and fast and loose making a mockery of the exercise,” he said.

“Our reps know when they are being strung along and it’s that attitude from the company that has forced us to announce this next phase of action.

Northern Rail insists it wants to continue discussions with the union, and wants to guarantee jobs and pay for its 1,300 conductors for the next eight years.

 

 

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