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  • Northern staff to go on strike at end of month

    Henry James

    RAIL Union RMT has confirmed a further 48 hours of strike action on Northern Rail, which operates the Southport to Manchester service.

    The walk out will take place on Monday, March 26 and Thursday, March 29.

    RMT has said they are going on strike over the “safety-critical guard” and the extension of Driver Only Operation in the name of “increased profits”.

    The strikes will run for 24 hours on both days.

    The union has also demanded tripartite talks with the company and the DfT aimed at reaching a solution.

    RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Every single effort that RMT has made to reach a negotiated settlement with Northern Rail over safe operation and safe staffing has been kicked back in our faces. No one should be in any doubt, this dispute is about putting the safety of the travelling public before the profits of the private train companies

    “It is frankly ludicrous that we have been able to negotiate long-term arrangements in Scotland and Wales that protect the guards and passenger safety but we are being denied the same opportunities with rail companies in England.

    “Theresa May and Chris Grayling are happy to stand aside and cheer on overseas rail companies that rip-off the British passenger with eye-watering far increases to subsidise their domestic transport operations while throwing the guards off our trains. If it’s good enough for Wales and Scotland to put safety first then it’s good enough for the rest of the UK.

    “RMT remains ready for the tripartite talks we have suggested.”

    A spokesman for Northern said: “On strike days Northern is only able to operate a limited service. For example, on weekday strikes, the majority of available trains typically operate between 7am and 7pm, with many last trains leaving before 7pm. During these hours, the overall number of trains running are significantly reduced, with around 50 per cent of the usual number of services in operation. These trains, and any replacement buses we run, are usually very busy. Therefore we ask our customers to carefully consider whether their journey is necessary.”

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