25 January 2019
RMT Press Office:
RMT says 46th day of strike action goes ahead on Northern tomorrow in defence of safety as crime soars on the railway.
RAIL UNION RMT said today that a 46th day of strike action on Northern Rail goes ahead as planned tomorrow in defence of rail safety and the role of the guard as crime soars on the railway and the company continues to block talks.
Tomorrow’s strike takes place in the wake of figures released this week by the British Transport Police that show that knife crime on Britain’s railways has more than tripled in the past three years and as national crime statistics show a surge in violence. Northern stand accused of ignoring the brutal reality of violent crime on the railway and the role played by guards as the eyes and ears of the service in identifying and managing conflict situations.
The union says German-owned Arriva continues to block talks around the guard guarantee which would help ensure safety on the railway, while they milk subsidies and tax-payer funded bail-outs to jack up profits and rip off passengers across the Northern routes.
Instead of looking for a negotiated settlement the company continue to treat their staff and passengers alike with absolute contempt while spewing out a stream of lies designed to obscure their intention to run services wholesale without a safety critical guard on board.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said:
“RMT members will be standing solid again tomorrow for the 46th day in support of a safe and accessible railway for all in the long-running fight to put public safety before private profit.
“The shocking BTP figures released this week showing that knife crime has tripled reinforces the need for safety critical guards on the train.
“Guards are the eyes and ears of the service, axing them in the drive towards an automated and faceless railway in the name of profit gives a green light to the thugs and criminals and is grossly and dangerously irresponsible on the part of Northern Rail.
“Now is the time for the company to face up their responsibilities and guarantee a safety-critical guard on every train with the full suite of competencies .
“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.”