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  • RMT union members call further strike action on July 21

    Henry James

    MEMBERS of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union have called further strike action on Saturday, July 21 on Northern services as part of the dispute of the role of guards on trains.

    There will be more disruption to services and Northern conductor, conductor instructor and train driver members are being instructed to take action for 24 hours on Saturday, July 21.

    RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “It is a tribute to the determination and professionalism of RMT members on Northern that they have remained rock solid for over a year now in what is a battle to put public safety before private profit. The next phase of action will take place two weeks on Saturday as the company refuse point blank to engage in talks.

    "RMT is angry and frustrated that while we are making some progress in discussions in similar safety disputes? Northern refuse point blank to engage with the union in any meaningful fashion. That is a disgrace and speaks volumes about the attitude of this company.

    "German-owned Northern want to run nearly half a million trains a year without a safety critical guard on board in a move that would wreck both safety and access ?to services and they should listen to their front-line staff and pull back from that plan immediately.

    “We have seen repeatedly in recent weeks that Arriva are not capable of running a railway and have chosen to declare war on passengers and staff alike in the drive for increased profits while safety, access and reliability are left to rot.

    "RMT has agreed arrangements in Wales and Scotland that enshrine the guard guarantee. If it's good enough for Wales and Scotland to have safe rail services it should be good enough for the rest of Britain.

    “We thank the public for their support and understanding throughout this dispute over rail safety and access and the union remains ready for talks.”

    Northern has said the following about the disputes: “On strike days Northern is only able to operate a limited service. We ask our customers to carefully consider whether their journey is necessary on these days.

    “Northern has embarked on a programme to modernise its services that will help make the North a better place in which to live and work.

    “To bring our improvements to life, we are proposing changes to modernise the conductor role to give you a better service. We are clear there will be no job or pay cuts as a result of our proposed changes, however the RMT has entered into dispute with Northern, which has resulted in several days of strike action, so far, during 2017 and 2018.”

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