21 June 2018
RMT Press Office:
As Northern Rail staff take further action today in defence of safety RMT calls on company to stop blocking talks.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“RMT members have been unflinching in their fight to defend safety and access to rail services across the North for well over a year and they stand united on the picket lines across the region once again this morning. They are a credit to the trade union movement and the communities that they serve.
“This morning I am repeating the call to Arriva – stop blocking talks, stop waging war on your customers and staff and start talking.
"RMT is angry and frustrated that while we are making some progress in discussions in similar safety disputes Arriva Rail North refuse point blank to engage with the union in any meaningful fashion. The ball is firmly in their court when it comes to progressing this dispute and it is down to the company to respond positively now and give me something of substance I can take back to RMT’s executive with a view to moving forwards.
“RMT’s campaign for safe and accessible rail services for all continues to gain momentum and is gathering political support right across the North. We thank the public for their support, patience and understanding throughout this dispute which is all about putting their safety before the profits of the German-owned Arriva.
"Why the British Government is allowing Arriva to axe guards on Northern Rail trains to maximise profits which are then shipped over the Channel to subsidise rail services in Berlin and Frankfurt is beyond me.
“RMT stands ready for genuine and meaningful talks around the guarantee of a second safety-critical member of staff on their trains with Arriva Rail North any time, any place, anywhere. RMT has shown that we are deadly serious about negotiations in the other guards’ safety disputes and the same principle applies to ARN. It is now down to Northern to pick up the phone and get the process moving.”