26 January 2019
RMT Press Office:
As RMT members stand firm on 46th day of strike action Northern Managing Director tells staff trains won’t have a second person on board.
As RMT members stand firm on a 46th day of strike action today the union has revealed that Northern’s Managing Director David Brown has told staff that because of the “franchise requirement” set by the Government there will be Northern trains in the future that will run without a second person – in direct contradiction of the company’s recent public statements.
Only last week Northern’s Managing Director told MPs and other stakeholders in an email that there was no need for RMT strike action because:
“The Department for Transport and Transport for the North have publicly confirmed that a second person, in addition to the driver, will be retained on Northern services.”
In fact, the Northern Managing Director has separately told RMT members saying that trains will run without a second person.
Mr Brown said because of the “franchise requirement” set by the Government Northern,
“Cannot guarantee a second single person on every train as, by its definition DCO [ Driver Controlled Operation] means that a train could run without that second person.”
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“Only last week the Arriva Rail North Managing Director was telling MPs a second person, in addition to the driver, would be retained on Northern services.
“Now he has let the cat out of the bag and told staff that in future not only will passengers lose the protection of a safety critical conductor they will also have to travel without the protection of any second person at all.
“That means no assistance for the disabled passenger trying to get on the train at an unstaffed station. No assistance for the mum and kids threatened by yobs on a train. No assistance to evacuate the train safely in the event of an accident.
“Instead of misleading the public Northern should be reassuring their passengers by guaranteeing a safety critical guard on every train. That is the fundamental issue that sees our members standing firm and united again today on a 46th day in the fight for the principles of a safe and accessible railway for all. ”