HS2

19.06.18

Strike news: guards row brings fresh strikes to Northern, South Western called off

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union have walked out in a fresh dispute between the union and Northern Rail over a long-running debate over the roles of guards on trains.

The RMT are staging a 24-hours stoppage today (19 June), with more walkouts planned for Thursday and Saturday.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said the union is “angry and frustrated” that rail operator Northern Rail is refusing to engage with the union over an ongoing argument as to whether trains can be operated by a driver only, as opposed to the current formation of a driver and a guard on trains.

Cash added that members of the RMT at Northern have “shown extraordinary resilience and determination in the fight for rail safety” and claimed that Northern has chosen to declare war on passengers and staff through pursuit of profits, without taking safety and accessible rail travel into account.

Northern aim to run around 1,200 services each day during the strike action, concentrating on services between 7am and 7pm in an effort to reduce peak-time disruption on the networks.

Sharon Keith, regional director for Northern, said: “On each day of the strike action we will be running fewer services and expect those services we do operate to be extremely busy. It is, therefore, vital that anyone thinking of travelling with Northern on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday plans their journey carefully.”

South Western Railway strikes called off

A strike by South Western Railway staff in the ongoing guard dispute has been called off.

Members of the RMT were due to stage industrial action on Thursday until Saturday.

South Western Railway said it was pleased for passengers that the union has suspended the strike action.

The action was halted after talks between the union and conciliation service Acas.

Mick Cash said: "We hope that the talks can continue in a constructive manner and an agreement can be reached."

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Image Credit: Victoria Jones, PA Wire

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