21 December 2018
RMT Press Office:
RMT says 41st day of strike action goes ahead on Northern tomorrow as company resorts to outright lies over second person on the train
RAIL UNION RMT said today that a 41st day of strike action on Northern Rail goes ahead as planned tomorrow in defence of rail safety and the role of the guard as the company blew apart "assurances" from the Government just a few short weeks ago that they would support the principle of a second person on the train – albeit with an undefined role.
Even that inadequate concession was demolished this week with the company admitting in a circular to staff that not only was the assurance not supported financially, and not worth the paper it was printed on, but that the future safety-critical role of all remaining guards at the platform/train interface will be shredded if they get their way.
Tomorrow’s strike 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 carried out a publicity stunt earlier 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 safety practice in the industry. They have not made a single serious offer to the union aimed at resolving the dispute.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said:
"The cat is now out of the bag. Not only are Northern prepared to rip up the safety rule book but they are also shredding DfT statements from just a few short weeks ago on the second member of staff.
“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.
"RMT will not be party to the dilution of the safety culture on Northern Rail trains in a drive to prop up Deutsche Bahn's profits as ARN's parent company hits the skids.
“That is why our members will be standing solid again tomorrow for the 41st day in support of a safe and accessible railway for all.
“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.”