Rail passengers to face fourth strike of the year

A fourth strike has been called by the RMT in a fortnight's time as the row continues over guards.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 16th May 2017, 5:22 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:42 pm
RMT union leader Mick Cash
RMT union leader Mick Cash

Union members accused Northern Rail of "intransigence" and "jamming the brakes" on talks over driver only operation as they announced the 24-hour walk out on May 30.

They said they were planning pickets at key locations across Northern routes.

The Yorkshire Post understands from a source that Northern had been told there would be no more action until after the election.

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The RMT has called a fourth strike

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said support from members had been "rock solid", adding: "We are angry and frustrated that Arriva continue to face up to the facts and also continue to ignore a perfectly reasonable union proposal to invite the DfT to join us in three way 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."

Richard Allan, Northern's deputy managing director, said: “It is frustrating for us and our customers that RMT has announced further strike action for Tuesday May 30.

The RMT has called a fourth strike

"We urge RMT to get back round the table with us for open-minded, meaningful talks on the role they can play in delivering the modern railway that people of the North want and deserve.

“We want to protect jobs and current pay and, as we have said before, are willing to offer future, annual pay reviews for existing conductors if we can agree a deal. RMT’s dispute will not be solved by unnecessary strike action – but instead by working with us to deliver the modern trains, services and stations our customers want.”

One rail commuter said: "I don't know anyone who supports the guards, all they are doing is looking after their own interests. Trains run in many parts of the country without a second person. It is an anachronism."

Apart from trains not running in the evening, recent strikes "has hardly had any impact," he added.