Rail workers to strike for 45th time in guard dispute this weekend as further dates announced

Rail workers have announced a further three days of strike action as passengers prepare for a 45th day of disruption tomorrow.

Friday, 18th January 2019, 6:45 pm
Updated Friday, 18th January 2019, 6:54 pm
A Northern Rail train

Members of the union RMT will walk out on strike tomorrow and plan to every Saturday until February 16 as the long-running dispute over the role of guards rumbles on.

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RMT general secretary Mick Cash RMT thanked the public for its '˜support and understanding', while Northern's managing director David Brown said the strike action was 'needless'.

He 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 fire off a barrage of misinformation about both the dispute and their intentions to deflect attention from the impact of their behaviour on the travelling public. 

'Northern have made it perfectly clear in emails to staff that they want to run trains without a safety critical guard on board in a move that would wreck both safety and access 'Žto services and they should listen to their front-line staff and pull back from that plan immediately.

'The bogus '˜guarantees' that they are trying to spin up to the travelling public are not worth the paper that they are printed on.

'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.'

Mr Brown said: 'There is no reason for RMT to continue this needless strike action. The Department for Transport and Transport for the North have guaranteed that all current conductors will continue to work in modernised on-board roles on all trains to provide customer service.

'This will include helping customers with accessibility, personal security, ticketing and information.

'Customer groups and business groups have supported Northern's call for RMT to take part in an independent inquiry on Northern's plans. This inquiry would be held by ACAS with an independent chair and independent panel and would give all parties the chance to have their say.'