27 April 2017
RMT Press Office:
RMT warns that axing guards will lead to "surge in crime" on the day before Northern Rail strike
On the day before the latest 24 hour strike, transport union RMT has warned that plans by Northern Rail to end the guarantee of guards on half of all passenger services will increase rail crime and anti-social behaviour and will result in systematic discrimination against disabled passengers.
The union issued the warning as it pointed to parliamentary answers that showed that 333 of the 527 stations that Northern service are unstaffed and a briefing from the company to employees admitting that only certain routes would keep a second person on the train.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
"Removing staff from trains, which will travel through over 300 unstaffed stations, is a toxic combination that will increase anti-social behaviour and and unleash a surge in crime which will see Northern rail becoming a muggers' paradise.
"The public are right to be concerned and that is why they are backing RMT's fight for the guarantee of a guard on Northern trains.
"The fact that sixty percent of stations are already unstaffed means that removing the guarantee that currently exists of a guard on every train will mean disabled passengers are simply no longer able to turn up and go at unstaffed stations. That is nothing short of a scandal.
"Far from being about modernisation or improving customer service Northern plans for driver only trains turn the clock back on protections for disabled, older and vulnerable passengers all so that the German state-owned outfit can make even more money out of passengers and taxpayers."
"These are the reasons for tomorrow's strike action and instead of ploughing on with their dangerous and discriminatory plans Arriva Rail North should be calling a halt and negotiating a settlement."