16 May 2017
RMT Press Office:
RMT confirms a further 24 hour strike on Arriva Rail North in guards' safety dispute.
Rail union RMT has confirmed that a further 24 hour strike on Arriva Rail North will go ahead on Tuesday 30th May as the company jams the brakes on all efforts to make progress in the long-running dispute over rail safety and the head-long dash towards Driver Only Operation.
The union said it was angry and frustrated that the company had rejected point blank every attempt to try and broker a safe and sustainable settlement to the dispute.
As well as digging their heels in on the crucial issue of the guarantee of a second safety critical member of staff on their trains the company continue to plough on with plans to introduce a minimum of 50% driver controlled operation across the franchise upon the introduction of the new rolling stock without agreement and in the teeth of opposition from the public, politicians and their own staff.
Political support continues to grow for RMT’s campaign against the dangerous, cash-led DOO proposals.
The latest local authorities to register formal opposition to the plans to axe the guards are Redcar, Cleveland and Wakefield. (The full list is set out below).
As a result of this wholesale failure by the company to make any progress RMT’s executive decided to call 24 hours of action on the 30th May with the union planning picket lines at key location across the Northern routes.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“The sheer intransigence of Arriva Rail North means that we have no option but to confirm a further 24 hours of strike action . The responsibility for the inevitable disruption lies wholly with the company. We are angry and frustrated that Arriva continue to face up to the facts and also continue to ignore a perfectly reasonable union proposal to invite the DfT to join us in three way talks aimed at finding a solution.
“The public, who support RMT’s campaign for a guarantee of a guard on their trains, will be appalled that Arriva Rail North have failed yet again to offer any kind of progress whatsoever in the talks and have instead opted to try and bulldoze through their plans regardless. It is that flagrant disregard for the safety issues at the heart of the dispute which leaves us with no option but to press on with the campaign of strike action.
“RMT commends our Arriva Rail North Members on their rock solid display of strength, resolve and unity during the action so far in opposition to the introduction of driver controlled operation and defence of the guards to guarantee a safer, securer and more accessible railway for all. We have no doubt that they our members will remain united and determined as we prepare for the next phase of action in a fortnight.
“The union continues to remain available for meaningful discussions with the company in order to seek a satisfactory resolution to the on-going dispute.”
Note to Editors:
Full list of councils opposing plans to axe the guards on Northern Rail:
Liverpool City Council
Sheffield City Council
Durham County Council
Newcastle City Council
Lancaster County Council
City of York
Carlisle City Council
Cumbria County Council
Salford City Council
Hyndburn Borough Council
Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council
Redcar and Cleveland Council