27 February 2018
RMT Press Office:
RMT condemns Arriva Rail North for "total betrayal of the travelling public" as company refuses point blank union offer of talks
Rail union RMT today condemned Arriva Rail North for its total betrayal of the travelling public as the German-owned company refused point blank a union offer of talks ahead of Saturday’s strike action.
In a circular to staff today Northern say it was a “difficult decision” not to engage in a further talks process and the company then proceed to spew out a stream of garbage which fails to address the safety, security and access issues at the heart of the dispute and then signs off by effectively slamming the door on future negotiations saying that “further talks …[are] likely to prove impossible.”
As a result the RMT action over attacks on the role of the safety-critical guard and the extension of Driver Only Operation in the name of increased profits goes ahead as planned.
Members on Northern have been instructed to take action as follows:
Not to book on for any shifts between 0001 hours and 2359 hours on Saturday 3rd March 2018
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“The decision by Northern to not only refuse talks in advance of Saturday’s action but to also effectively rule out any future talks is a kick in the teeth for their staff and a total betrayal of the travelling public.”
“Every single effort that RMT has made to reach negotiated settlements in this dispute over safe operation and safe staffing has been kicked back in our faces. No one should be in any doubt, our action is about putting the safety of the travelling public before the profits of the private train companies
“It is frankly ludicrous that we have been able to negotiate long-term arrangements in Scotland and Wales that protect the guards and passenger safety but we are being denied the same opportunities by a German-owned rail company in England.
“Our action goes ahead as planned and while the company digs themselves deeper into their bunker RMT remains available for talks.”