9 August 2018
RMT Press Office:
RMT confirms further strike dates on Northern Rail in fight over guards and rail safety as company makes a mockery of talks process
RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that further strike action will take place on Arriva Rail North over attacks on the role of the safety-critical guard and the extension of Driver Only Operation in the name of increased profits.
RMT has confirmed the fresh wave of action after the company made a mockery of the talks process the union had committed to in good faith. The union accused company bosses of stringing its negotiators along rather than looking seriously for a settlement.
All Arriva Rail North Conductor, Conductor Instructor and Train Driver members are instructed to take action as follows:
Not to book on for on for duty between:
· 00:01 and 23:59 on Saturday 25th August 2018,
· 00:01 and 23:59 on Saturday 1st September 2018
· 00:01 and 23:59 on Saturday 8th September 2018.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“RMT committed to talks in good faith with Northern but instead of making progress towards a settlement that matches the best practice in the rail industry as negotiated elsewhere the company have opted instead to play and fast and loose making a mockery of the exercise. Our reps know when they are being strung along and it's that attitude from the company that has forced us to announce this next phase of action.
“RMT members on Arriva Rail North have been in dispute for well over a year now in a battle to put public safety before private profit and we are angry and frustrated that a genuine opportunity to reach an agreement has been kicked back by the company.
“German-owned Northern Rail want to run nearly half a million trains a year without a safety critical guard on board in a move that would wreck both safety and access to services and they should listen to their front-line staff and pull back from that plan immediately.
"RMT recently secured an agreement on Greater Anglia that enshrine the guard guarantee. Similar agreements have also been reached in Wales and Scotland. Arriva Rail North need to do the right thing and come to an agreement that secures a guard on their trains too.
“We thank the public for their support and understanding throughout this dispute over rail safety and access and the union remains ready for genuine and serious talks.”