19 December 2018
RMT Press Office:
RMT confirms raft of new strike dates on Northern Rail in fight over guards and rail safety as members gear up for 41st day of action Saturday.
RAIL UNION RMT has confirmed a raft of new strike dates 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. The announcement comes as members gear up for the 41st day of strike action on Saturday.
The long-running campaign of action takes place as the company continues to refuse to engage in serious and meaningful talks around the guard guarantee that could form the basis for a settlement. Instead it has carried out a publicity stunt this week by calling for an inquiry into the dispute.
No inquiry is needed into the fact that company bosses have strung union negotiators along rather than looking seriously for a settlement when there has been an opportunity to strike an agreement on the guard guarantee that matches the best practice in the industry and in line with deals struck by the union across Wales, Scotland and other parts of England. They have not made a single serious offer to the union aimed at resolving the dispute.
All RMT Arriva Rail North Conductor, Conductor Instructor and Train Driver members had already been instructed to take action as follows:
Not to book on for on for duty between:
• 00:01 hours and 23:59 hours on Saturday 22nd December 2018
• 00:01 hours and 23:59 hours on Saturday 29th December 2018
The additional dates that RMT members are instructed to not to book on are for any shifts that commence between:-
• 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Saturday 5th January 2019
• 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Saturday 12th January 2019
• 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Saturday 19th January 2019
• 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Saturday 26th January 2019
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“RMT continues to make every effort to get serious and meaningful talks going with Northern but the company are not interested and would prefer to call for an inquiry into the dispute to deflect attention from the impact of their behaviour on the travelling public.
“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.
“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.”